- Poachers had shot the pregnant loris with an airgun, and pellets were still lodged behind her right eye and in her back when the IAR medical team assessed her.
- The loris, named Canon, gave birth to her baby four days after being taken into IAR.
- Canon seems to be taking good care of her baby, IAR said, and both mother and baby are doing well.
- Two other pregnant lorises gave birth prematurely and their babies didn’t survive, IAR said.
In October this year, Indonesian police rescued 34 critically endangered Javan slow lorises (Nycticebus javanicus) from being illegally sold on social media by traffickers. All 34 rescued animals were sent to the International Animal Rescue (IAR) Primate Rehabilitation Centre in Bogor, Indonesia, for treatment and rehabilitation.
One of the rescued lorises, named Canon, was pregnant at the time of rescue, IAR said in a statement. Poachers had shot her with an airgun, and pellets were still lodged behind her right eye and in her back. The IAR medical team decided to forego surgery, and let her wait in peace for the arrival of her baby. Canon gave birth to her baby four days later.
IAR has now released footage of the baby loris, who seems to be active and in good condition.
“The team caring for them report that Canon is feeding well and feasts every night on gum (hardened tree sap), vegetables, fruits and insects,” IAR said in a statement, “She is also receiving multivitamins and calcium for her own health and to support the healthy growth of the baby she is nursing. Canon is taking excellent care of her baby, providing him with plenty of milk and grooming him regularly.”
Video by International Animal Rescue.
However, not all rescued lorises were fortunate. Many individuals were showing signs of “extreme stress” at the time of their rescue, IAR said. Some individuals had their teeth removed, some had been shot by airguns, and others had bite wounds, most likely because they were crammed together in small crates.
Two other pregnant lorises gave birth prematurely and their babies didn’t survive.
“This is a tragic example of the suffering and loss of life caused by the illegal trade in wildlife,” Alan Knight OBE, Chief Executive of International Animal Rescue, said in the statement. “All these female lorises could have given birth safely and successfully in their natural environment. Instead they were ripped from the rainforest to be sold as pets by traffickers intent on making money out of them.”
“Thankfully, on this occasion the police investigation resulted in the arrest of three hunters and two dealers which must send out a strong message to other wildlife criminals,” Knight added. “But as far as the lorises are concerned, the damage has already been done.”
The Javan slow loris, found only on the western and central portion of the island of Java in Indonesia, has suffered rapid decline in its population over the past two decades. It is frequently hunted and traded illegally for the exotic pet trade, and is also threatened by habitat loss. Last year, the Javan slow loris was listed as one of the 25 most endangered primates in the world.