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RESCUED – Donald the Slow Loris

This week we got a got a call that a Slow Loris had been found in Bangkok. A driver was immediately dispensed to pick up this wayward animal from the concrete jungle. On arrival at the rescue centre they discovered a large Bengal Slow Loris in good condition and not as afraid of humans as we would expect. It was discovered he had a rotten upper canine tooth root. The tooth had been clipped at some point to try to make him more suitable as a pet: but only one! Usually all 4 canines are clipped as the loris can inflict a painful bite that can be venomous. This clipping is extremely painful and can result in infections that can be fatal. We have no idea why only one tooth was clipped in this case and how he came to be free in the city but he has had surgery to remove the infected root fragment and is responding well to treatment. Slow lorises are commonly kept illegally as pets. They are solitary nocturnal animals with specialist dietary requirements. They may look cute in photos with their massive eyes but those eyes are designed to see in the dark and are damaged when exposed to bright sunshine. They have developed special glands in their elbows, which they lick. Mixed with saliva this produces a toxin, which can cause an anaphylactic reaction in some people when bitten. We may never find out what has happened with particular loris to be found in such an alien environment but we can guarantee his future will be a bit kinder to him. We have named him Donald. Following treatment and rehabilitation we hope that he can be released back to the wild where his species is in serious decline.

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