One slow loris was saved from an inevitable death after being trapped in a small cage by villagers near Bukit Lawang, Indonesia. The villagers planned on selling the animal in the exotic pet market or killing it to use for medicinal purposes. Some believe that slow loris flesh can cure leprosy. However, there is no evidence that this is true. The slow loris’ head is also used in ceremonies and is supposed to bring good luck.
The animal was kept in a small bamboo cage under one of the villagers’ house awaiting his fate when animal rescuers caught wind of his story.
Bobi Handoko, the cofounder of Ecoproject paid a visit to the homeowner. Along with a village elder, he explained to the owner that he would like to take the slow loris. Handoko was afraid his offer would be rejected and he would be asked to leave, but he continued to negotiate.
“I had to talk to them for hours to try and make them understand why it’s important for these animals to be left in the wild,” Handoko tells The Dodo. “I was very afraid they’d ask me to go away and sell the slow loris anyway.”
Handoko offered the man 150,000 IDR (around $11) and was able to take the animal. Handoko was pleased to see the animal looked healthy with clear eyes and all of his teeth still intact. Handoko and his volunteers took extra caution with the animal as the slow loris’ bite is venemous.
The animal was taken to an undisclosed area and a few slats of the box were removed to allow the animal to come out in his own time. Slowly the slow loris emerged from the tiny cage. With one glance at his rescuers, he scampered off into the jungle to his newly found freedom.
“We were amazed by how fast she moved,” Handoko told The Dodo. “I was so happy to see her free. There’s no better satisfaction than to see animals returned to the wild.”