Had the police arrived just a little later, eight highly endangered slow lorises would have been shipped off to live sad, lonely, and ultimately short lives in the illegal pet trade.
Luckily, though, the cops appeared at just the right moment.
When they entered the home of a smuggler in Indonesia, they found the man had just finished packing eight slow lorises into mesh boxes, cramping them in four to a box.
Slow lorises are a species of nocturnal primate native to Southeast Asia. Their fuzziness and big eyes make them one of the most adorable creatures you can think of, though in their case, the cuteness has become a curse. People around the world selfishly want them as pets, making them targets for the illegal pet trade.
This rescue is one of many that has taken place over the past few years. Sadly, many more lorises are not saved, ending up in the pet trade where they’re routinely mistreated.
Many of them even have their teeth removed to prevent them from biting, which is not only painful, it also makes eating difficult. Many slow lorises traded as pets die prematurely.
There is hope, though. Both conservation groups and police are becoming more and more vigilant as they work to rescue as many lorises as possible.
They’re also working to rehabilitate them and, if they’re healthy enough, to release them back into the wild where they belong.
[H/T: The Dodo]