The Horrible Truth Behind Those 'Cute' Slow Loris Videos
The Debrief: And why we need to stop watching them
You’ve seen those trending videos of a slow loris being tickled right? Of course you have, everyone’s seen it. Everyone’s shared it with their friends, boyfriend, girlfriend and mums that appreciate cute animal videos - because to most people (myself included at one point), that video was adorable. The way the slow loris put his arms up while being tickled filled us with glee and put on that stupid voice we use when we find something cute. ‘Looooook at hiiiiiim,’ we would squeal, watching it over and over because once wasn’t enough.
But we shouldn't. Because apparently those slow loris aren’t happy. Being tickled doesn’t make them happy, it’s actually torturing them. They put their hands up because they’re terrified, and are trying to protect themselves by using venom from a gland inside their elbows. The stark reality is these trending videos of cute animals we love on Facebook aren't cute - and sharing them only conceals this more.
These animals are being poached from the wild, their teeth are removed using wire cutters to make them human friendly as their venomous bite can be potentially life threatening. They’re kept hidden away in dark, overcrowded and badly ventilated containers while being transported. Transporting them this way means anywhere between 30% and 90% of the animals die. They are then illegally sold in black markets as pets to people who don’t know how to look after them.
According to the International Animal Rescue the entire slow loris species is suffering as a result of these videos circulating online. These videos are actually showing us the slow lorises' ‘unimaginable suffering,’ and are the biggest threat to the species that is already in danger of extinction.
I already feel incredibly guilty about having watched those videos, about sharing them with my friends and finding them cute. So how can we help? You can let the International Animal Rescue know if you see a video, or image of a slow loris being kept as a pet here. And urge people not to watch them, or share them all over Facebook.
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