Hundreds of rare primates seized in Indonesia

November 15, 2013
This photo, received from International Animal Rescue Indonesia on November 15, 2013, shows slow lorises sitting in a plastic crate

Hundreds of slow lorises have been seized on Indonesia's Java island as animal smugglers were about to send the protected primates to markets to be sold as pets, officials said on Friday.

Government officials last week discovered 238 of the , one of the few mammals that has a toxic bite, packed into small plastic crates at the port of Merak in the north-west of Java.

They had been smuggled from Sumatra, a vast, jungle-covered, biodiverse island that is home to many rare animals, said protection group the International Animal Rescue Foundation Indonesia.

The group took them to their rescue centre but on the way "six of them died... because they were squeezed tight in the crates and lacked food and water," the foundation's Aris Hidayat told AFP.

The animals were about to be sent to markets in the capital Jakarta and surrounding cities when they were rescued, Hidayat said.

Vets at the rescue centre believe the animals had only been captured recently and said hopefully they could be released back into the wild soon, he said.

The Natural Resources Conservation Agency, the government body that discovered the lorises, said a man had been named a suspect in the case and would face trial soon.

This photo, received from International Animal Rescue Indonesia on November 15, 2013, shows a government official checking on show lorises, seized from animal smugglers

Under Indonesian law, someone caught selling protected animals faces a maximum of five years in jail and a 100 million rupiah ($8,700) fine.

The slow loris, which has big eyes, grey fur and is closely related to the lemur, is found across Southeast Asia.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature categorises the lorises on Sumatra as vulnerable.

Explore further: Big-eyed Borneo slow loris tagged for first time

Related Stories

Big-eyed Borneo slow loris tagged for first time

July 17, 2011

Malaysian wildlife researchers have tagged a Bornean slow loris for the first time as part of efforts to find out more about the nocturnal primate known for its big eyes and rare toxic bite.

Indonesia seizes 85 endangered pangolins

July 31, 2012

Indonesian police have intercepted 85 endangered pangolins, most of them alive despite being stuffed into sacks by suspected smugglers, an official said Tuesday.

Rare tiger dies after Indonesia flight switch

October 4, 2012

A rare Sumatran tiger has died after his transferral to an Indonesia park was aborted and he was put on a second flight because passengers complained about the smell, an official said.

Protected pangolins seized from Philippine boat

April 23, 2013

Philippine authorities have seized 23 protected scaly anteaters found hidden in a cargo boat, in the second case of suspected trafficking of the species in a month, officials said.

Recommended for you

'Hog-nosed rat' discovered in Indonesia

October 6, 2015

Museum of Natural Science Curator of Mammals Jake Esselstyn at Louisiana State University and his international collaborators have discovered a new genus and species on a remote, mountainous island in Indonesia. This new ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.