Two Loris rescued from wildlife smugglers in Delhi airport

by Kartick Satyanarayan
Wildlife SOS

Chosen as Picture of the Week

In India, lorises are listed under Schedule I of Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 and given protection against hunting, trade or any other use. Conservationists have been campaigning for years to stop the trade of Loris in the exotic pet industry.

Two Loris – small, nocturnal primates endangered by global illegal poaching – were rescued from the Delhi airport on September 9, 2012. They were being smuggled in the underwear of two men!

“Our Wildlife helpline received a call about two loris confiscated by Delhi International Airport CISF security personnel. When the animals reached us, they were quite traumatized from having been stuffed into socks and then strapped to the smuggler’s underpants as he tried to sneak them past customs in Delhi airport onto a dubai flight. We suspect these may be Pygmy Loris from Cambodia or Southeast Asia, which are threatened species as per the IUCN Red List. It is shocking to see the risk wildlife criminals take to smuggle endangered wildlife. The animals have now been handed over to the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB) for legal and court procedures,” says Kartick Satyanarayan, Co-founder, Wildlife SOS. As the Loris are nocturnal, special provisions were made for them. The Wildlife SOS team fed them fruit and captured live insects- at night.

Paradoxically, loris are the traded in the illegal/exotic pet industry as they are considered the cutest animals on earth. Conservationists have been campaigning for years to stop the trade of Loris in the exotic pet industry. Poisonous and capable of biting, the Loris are ‘domesticated’ only after their teeth are forcibly removed. In terms of ecology, very little is known about them, as they are considered one of the least studied primates in the world.

In India, lorises are listed under Schedule I of Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 and given protection against hunting, trade or any other use.

About the author

Kartick Satyanarayan

The author is co-founder of Wildlife SOS, a wildlife rescue NGO.

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