Your contribution can help us get slow lorises off the tourist streets of Phuket where they are being exploited for holiday snap-shots and it can help us educate more tourists about the devasting illegal animal trade!!!!
Slow lorises are a group of little studied and known night active primates of Asia and 2 species occur in the wild in Thailand. It is illegal to trade these primates across their range, but sadly there is a huge - and growing - illegal trade is lorises for pets, tourist photo props and Chinese medicine. In Thailand's Phuket Island the number of slow lorises exploited for tourist photo props has sky-rocketed in the past 2 years. Millions of tourists arrive in Phuket every year and many contribute to the illegal wildlife trade by paying for photographs with endangered animals, caught from the wild.
The majority of these slow lorises have been mutilated; they have had their teeth cut with whatever tools at hand in order to prevent bite injuries to human handlers. This practise causes splintered roots, gum infections and not rarely death for the animal, if they do not recieve veterinary care. We are a group of primatologists and animal lovers with the registrered non-profit organisation Love Wildlife and the international loris research group the Little Fireface Project, dedicated to saving the Thai lorises through education, research and the creation of a rehabilitation centre that can give these animals the care they require.
Why we need help
We need around $ 5,000 in order to start building a slow loris rescue centre on Phuket. Over 50 individual animals have already been confiscated in the past year and brought to the governments overcrowded facilities and many more are living undignified lives as pets in private homes around the island. Many of these lorises may be non-native to Phuket or to the south of Thailand. Lorises are specialist feeders and they have large territories in the wild which they may fight until death over to defend. It is often unethical to release captive lorises back to the wild as the likelihood of them dying after release is over 90%. Lorises that have had their teeth cut down or extracted in the pet trade can never be released and will require long-term veterinary care to recover.
One rehabilitation cage of 4x4x3m, where up to 5 compatible animals can be socialised will cost us:
~ 30,000 Thai Baht in materials (metal frames, bolts, welding costs, mesh, tin roof as rain shelter, plants) or $943.
We would like to build a minimum of 5 such cages initially, which would cost us around $ 4715.
In addition, we have a constant need to print up education flyers, leaflets and other materials to be distributed to tourists around Phuket:
~ 10,000 colour leaflets in folded A4 size cost $300 in printing costs.
Slow lorises are disappearing from our world faster than we can learn about them. It is so easy to say that if no-one paid for a photograph with a wild-caught loris, they wouldn't be poached in the first place. But getting to that stage is not a straight forward step - so many people are unaware of the horrors behind the trade. Paying for a souvenir picture with a cute fluffy baby animal is quite a normal reaction for someone who likes animals. Education is the key! We need to change this demand for wildlife used as tourist attractions before it is too late!
Other Ways You Can Help
Even if you cannot contribute financially you can help us spread the message:
- Tell your friends and family about the illegal wildlife trade for tourist photo props and inform them NOT to pay for photographs with wild animals whilst on holiday in Thailand.
- Share our websites http://www.lovewildlife.org/ and
- share this campaign widely to help us reach our goal!