When rescuers opened cardboard boxesbound for China, the first thing they heard were pained cries.Last week, animal activists found nine slow lorises packed tightly together in mesh cages wrapped in cardboard, reports The Dodo. A few holes had been poked into the cardboard, but because there were so many trapped in the same box they still couldn't get enough oxygen.
According to International Animal Rescue, a group who aided in the rescue, the poor animals were also injured, both from the traumatic journey and by their captor. IAR's PR and communications manager, Lisa Key, told The Dodo:
They had been fighting each other for space and some had bite wounds. They were clawing at the sides of the boxes and emitting small pitiful cries of distress. The boxes were covered in urine and feces, which I think was not just an indication of how long they had been kept shut up, but also a sign of the distress they were in.
No food or water had been given to the lorises and rescuers are said to have been very surprised that all of them survived in such terrible conditions.
They were being sold by an Indonesian man who illegally dealt the animals until authorities were alerted by members of the public, who had seen his adverts on social media. He is currently being questioned to try and discover more about illegal animal traders using social media to operate, and could face five years in prison as well as a fine of up to 100,000,000 rupiah (about $7500).While the lorises and a wreathed hornbill, who was found alongside them, are now being treated by experts for stress, dehydration and hunger, irreversible damage has already been done; three of the lorises were discovered to have had their teeth removed.
This painful process makes them easier for humans to handle, but makes it very difficult for the animals to eat and defend itself. This means that it can be impossible to release the maimed creatures back into the wild.The fact that their teeth had been removed indicates that these lorises may have been on their way to becoming pets. Recently pet lorises have become very popular thanks to videos on Youtube, which show them as cute and exotic creatures, with large, adorable eyes and slow movements.
However, these wild animals make highly unsuitable pets. To meet demand, most 'pet' lorises are poached from their natural habitats as they are very difficult to breed in captivity.Once in a home, they are often very distressed as artificial light is painful to their sensitive eyes, they can't explore large areas to forage as they would in the wild and they are often fed very inappropriate diets, as their nutritional needs are complex.
They also have a naturally venomous bite, which is why their teeth are removed if they are trapped to be pets.While these lorises are now safely rescued, many of these critically endangered animals are still being kept as pets, or illegally sold all over the world. To find out what you can do to help, visit ticklingistorture to pledge against the illegal loris trade, or adopt a loris via the International Animal Rescue website.
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