THE GREEN PLANET’S NEWEST FAMILY-MEMBER PUTS SPOTLIGHT ON THE UAE’S ILLEGAL PET TRADE
The story of the Lonely Loris and The Green Planets quest to help him find a mate
Dubai, UAE, 10 March 2019 – The Green Planet are groundbreakers when it comes to animal welfare and animal knowledge, so it came as no surprise that after an abandoned Slow Loris was found on the streets of Dubai, The Green Planet and the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE) teamed up to help find this wide-eyed primate a new home.
Lonely Loris was mistreated and found abandoned in a box on the streets of the UAE. Originating from the depths of Asia, the primate is a CITES 1 animal, which means it is at significant risk of extinction in the wild, sharing its critical status with African Elephants, Gorilla and Orangutans.
Paul Parker, General Manager – Family Entertainment Centers said: “We are so happy to be able to provide him with a home. The Slow Loris is a critically endangered species, meaning they should only be in captivity for breeding purposes, and we are now on a quest through the correct channels to find our Lonely Loris a girlfriend. We are looking at zoo databases globally to find a suitable female candidate.”
Will he meet the love of his life at the end of this long, treacherous journey? Stay tuned for updates!
The Green Planet hopes his rescue can help put the spotlight back on the illicit animal trade in the region. Adopting a zero-tolerance approach to illegal wildlife trafficking, the UAE Government has recently clamped down on online animal trading, and has strengthened security on the country’s land, sea and air borders.
To motivate people to join the fight against illegal wildlife trade and make them comprehend the magnitude of the harm this trade inflicts on endangered species and global biodiversity, the UAE has significantly stepped up its efforts to raise public awareness of the importance of ensuring that wild animals remain in the wild. As part of this priority, the government has joined forces with various stakeholders from the public and private sectors to run awareness campaigns and workshops in diverse locations across the country, such as shopping malls, local markets, airports, schools and universities.
Furthermore, the UAE Government collaborates with other governments and intergovernmental organizations, such as the International Consortium on Combating Wildlife Crime (ICCWC) that comprises the Secretariat of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), INTERPOL, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, the World Bank and the World Customs Organization, in addition to the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), to identify and combat wildlife crime.
Hiba Al Shehhi, Acting Director of the Biodiversity Department at MOCCAE, said: “We are confident that our actions are making an impact on illegal wildlife trade in the region. We have strict controls in place to curb the trade, however, we believe awareness needs to be front and center. We are happy that this Slow Loris was lucky enough to have been found and taken care of professionally at The Green Planet. We hope his story can help educate the community and paint a clearer picture of the dangers of illegal wildlife trade.”
There are nine species of Slow Lorises in total – the Bengal, Bornean, Greater, Hiller’s, Javan, Kayan, Philippine, Pygmy and Sody’s, however, for the time being, Lonely Loris will be taking center stage at The Green Planet for guests to meet, view and educate themselves on this fascinating mammal as well as keep up to date with his unfortunate journey to Dubai and the potential progress in his love life.
Located in City Walk, the impressive rainforest glass bio-dome will now be the new home for Lonely Loris, an endangered species and one of the rarest primates on earth. He can be found on the understory level, located on the second floor within the indoor tropical forest.
This Slow Loris can now have a bright and happy future at The Green Planet, sharing a home with over 3,000 plants and animals. Lonely Loris is sure to capture hearts and can be seen during his daily enrichment activities, where an on-site professional biologist will be on hand to assist with daily enrichment activities. This certainly is some rags to riches story for the gorgeous creature. Book your tickets now!
Some other fun facts about the Slow Loris:
1. The Slow Loris has a reduced second finger for gripping and one of the longest tongues of all the primates, which they use to drink nectar.
2. Although Sow Lorises are seen as slow movers, they frequently ’race walk’ and can move up to 8 km per night.
3. Equally, they are able to remain totally still for hours on end if required.
4. The name ‘Loris’ is Dutch and means ‘clown’, which probably comes from the facial features that help to define the species.
5. In parts of Asia, the Slow Loris is believed to be able to cure over 100 diseases!
6. A Slow Loris has the ability to see in almost complete darkness – handy in the new Bat Cave.
7. Loris is an omnivore (eats both meat and vegetation). Its diet is usually composed of insects, slugs, small mammals, fruit, leaves and various types of eggs.
8. Loris also uses venom to protect its offspring.
9. The lifespan of most Loris species is between 15 and 20 years.