Yesterday the WFFT Rescue Team headed out to a call for help from a teacher of a local primary school. They had found a Bengal slow loris (Nycticebus bengalensis) that had taken refuge inside the school on some power cables outside one of the class rooms. They were initially worried that the loris may harm the children, sadly it is more likely to be the other way round. This shy nocturnal primate was highly exposed with nowhere to hide; he was scared with all the noise and commotion. The team captured him and transported him straight back to the WFFT Wildlife Rescue Centre for a health check. At this stage we did not know if he was a wild loris that had become lost in a human built environment, or if he was an unwanted pet that someone had dumped.
Upon arrival to the WFFT Wildlife Hospital he was given a health check including a dental check. We found that the majority of his teeth were rotten including all his canines and incisors, and he was suffering from severe gingivitis. The WFFT Vet Team got to work right away to remove the rotten teeth to relieve the excruciating pain he must have been under. We ended up removing eleven teeth in total, including all four of his canines. The state of his teeth and the circumstance in which he was found implies that he is indeed an unwanted pet that has been dumped back in the wild, with no teeth to hunt this would have been a death sentence if he was not rescued.
The Bengal Slow Loris is listed as Vulnerable by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. The major threats that this species’ habitat faces include farming, timber removal, human settlement, road building, dams, power lines, fragmentations, and deliberately set fires. They are hunted and traded for food, traditional “medicine”, sport, and as pets.
We have named him ‘Noris’, he recovered well from the surgery and is currently under the observation of our team. We prepared a special soft peeled fruit diet for him last night, which he ate a little of, hopefully tonight consuming food will be less painful and he will eat well. Sadly, this endangered primate will never return back the wild and will have to spend the rest of his days in the care of WFFT. Updates will follow. Keep Wildlife Wild and Not as Pets!!!