Slow loris facts

    • Lorises are small to medium-sized primates which range in weight from 103g to 2,100g
    • They have a range of habitats over a vast area of southern and south-eastern Asia.
    • There are five species of slow loris currently recognised - the Bengal, Bornean, Javan, pygmy and greater slow loris.
    • The slow loris is a nocturnal primate that has forward-facing eyes and human-like hands with an opposable thumb.
    • The name 'loris' is Dutch and means 'clown', which probably comes from the facial features that help to define the species.
    • The slow loris is amongst the rarest primate on earth; they devolved from their closest cousins the African bushbabies around 40 million years ago.
    • Although slow lorises are seen as slow movers, they frequently ’race walk’ and can move up to 8km per night. Equally they are able to remain totally still for hours on end if required.
    • Slow lorises have one of the slowest primate life histories; six months pregnancy for these pint-sized primates produces babies the weight of a handful of paperclips (less than 50 g). They can live to be 25 years old.
    • Their movement looks similar to that of a snake due to their twisting movement caused by having several more vertebra in their spine than other primates.
    • 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.
    • Although the slow loris is a small mammal, their home ranges can be the size of 35 football pitches.
    • The slow loris has a bite so poisonous that its venom can kill. Currently there is no known cure. It is still not clear for what reason the slow loris is venomous.
    • The slow loris is endangered due to both habitat loss and hunting for illegal pet and traditional medicine trades. In some parts of Asia it is known as the animal which can cure 100 diseases.
    • International Animal Rescue has established a facility specialising in the care of slow lorises in Ciapus, West Java. The centre is currently caring for nearly 100 slow lorises that have been surrendered by their owners or confiscated from the illegal wildlife trade.