Slow loris YouTube videos fuel endangered species trade

How a YouTube created a real problem for real wildlife


The huge round eyes of the slow loris have made the species a YouTube hit – but experts are now warning that their online popularity has led to an increase in trafficking and cruelty.

Clips featuring the cute primates have attracted millions of views on video-sharing websites, sparking increased demand to keep the animals as pets.

Slow lorises are found in south-east Asia, where poachers take them from the wild and sell the animals in markets for as little as £10 a time.

Many eventually end up in Japan, where they can fetch prices as high as £3,500.

But demand is also expanding to the US and Europe with reports of slow lorises smuggled into Britain. Many do not survive the journey.

Chris Shepherd of Traffic southeast Asia, which campaigns against the trade in primates, said: “The only reason the loris isn’t biting the person holding it in the video is because it has had its teeth ripped out with pliers.”

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/wildlife/8397234/Slow-loris-YouTube-videos-fuel-endangered-species-trade.html

http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/nature/youtube-sensation-fuelling-trade-in-an-endangered-species-2248930.html

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