The 21St Member In The Loris Family of EPRC

On the afternoon of 24th, February, Endangered Primate Rescue Center received an inform from Hai Phong city’s Forest Protection Department about a case of loris confiscation. If we successful take over this loris, then it would be the 21st member in the loris family of EPRC.

Without any hesitation, we took the earliest bus to Hai Phong the following day to take over this case because from our experience, confiscated primates tend to be in a not-so-good condition, and time is gold. But fortunately, when we arrived at the loris’ temporary shelter, which is the house of the kind-hearted man named Duc who found the loris, he was in a relatively good condition. How Duc treated the loris was a touching story.

» It is common to see newly confiscated primates suffer from malnutrition, diseases or injuries. But fortunately enough, Mr. Duc had given his best effort to take care of the loris so when we arrived, the loris was all fine except for being skinny.

Duc explanation was:

I was driving home from work in the same familiar road when suddenly I noticed an animal that resembled a small cat lying in the middle of the road, almost got crushed over several times by vehicles driving by. I immediately stopped my bike, dashed to it and picked it up with my bare hands. What I found was certainly not a cat, but not like anything that I saw before. I took it home, gave it a cage, put a thick coat around the cage, and occasionally built a fire near it to keep the loris warm. Then, I spent days looking up on the Internet about this species. When I knew that it was a loris, at first, I fed it with banana and mango and water. Then, being aware that loris is a threatened animal, I tried to reach animal rescue centers because I think if I give it to someone, they would try and sell it away. I just reckoned that, like human beings, the loris should belong to its family in the wild. So eventually the Forest Protection Department of Hai Phong reacted at once to my call and only one day later, Endangered Primate Rescue Center is here!

The loris confiscation we took over was a pygmy loris, female, weighted around 250 grams with no signs of health problem except for being very skinny. After the necessary legal documents were completed, just like any previous cases, either loris confiscation or other primate, we were supposed to give Mr. Duc (on the right of the photo – the man who found and surrendered the loris) a small gift for this goodwill intention. However, he declined almost instantly and insisted EPRC to keep the gift for “I was only trying to do the right thing”. His only humble wish was for EPRC to name the loris after him so he and his family would one day visit the center and Duc the loris. 

According to the current Vietnam’s laws, pygmy loris (and almost all other primates in our center) are endangered and protected by laws. This means it is illegal to keep or trade them without permission and penalty for violating these laws could be as severe as a 30.000.000 VND fine ($1400). On the other hand, Duc was well aware that he wouldn’t be able to take care of the loris when it was already very skinny then. So he made a good decision when he handed it over it EPRC who can provide proper food, cage and medicine a loris needs for its well-being. 

» “I just reckoned that, like human beings, the loris should belong to its family in the wild”

Say hello to my little friend…the 5th pygmy loris in EPRC family. The new loris has settled down to her new cage and is fed with a healthy and proper diet including water, fruits, tree sap and insects.

A diet consisting of dragonfruit, banana, cucumber, pear, orange and mango will provide our lorises with enough nutrients for a healthy shape and growth.

Just like every other new arrival, the loris must remain in the quarantine area and live in a mobile cage before they could enjoy more freedom and space in a larger cage.

The first and foremost challenge to our new loris is for her to survive through what remains of this year’s harsh winter. But we’re already looking forward to a summer full of insects and tree sap, when she is hopefully strong enough to return to the forest.

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