Hundreds of endangered slow lorises were seized last week by the Indonesian government’s conservation agency in its biggest ever confiscation of the rare primates, the latest in a string of busts targeting the illegal trade of protected and endangered animals in the country.
On Nov. 6, the Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA) seized a staggering 238 slow lorises from traders in Serang, Banten. It marked the second slow loris confiscation on Java in the last two months, and came just a day after officials in West Java seized hundreds of protected birds and one ton of wild boar meat.
Officials said the lorises confiscated this week had been caught in Sumatra and were meant to be traded in several Javan bird markets, which are notorious for selling exotic pets.
Following the confiscation, the slow lorises were immediately taken by the agency to the International Animal Rescue Foundation Indonesia (YIARI) rehabilitation center in Ciapus, near Bogor, where they received medical checks and were given sanctuary.
The BKSDA will be returning the animals back to the wild after their rehabilitation, and after they have been registered as evidence in the prosecution’s case, the YIARI said in a statement on Wednesday.
The slow loris, which is protected from international trade by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), is a small-bodied nocturnal primate mainly found throughout Southeast Asia.
Indonesian law stipulates that the capturing, selling or keeping of slow lorises is punishable by up to five years’ imprisonment and could also see a trader fined up to Rp 100 million ($8,660).
According to Wendi Prameswari, a veterinarian and animal management coordinator for YIARI, the lorises were found in plastic crates, which the traders were using to transport the animals.
“The 238 lorises were cramped in small plastic crates and had been taken for a long journey. As a consequence, some of them were dead on arrival,” said Wendi, who was tasked with examining the animals. More....