Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

Slow Loris expert steps up to the Lush Soapbox

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Slow Loris

An Oxford Brookes University researcher in primate conservation will be hosting a Lush Soapbox talk at Lush’s new flagship store on Oxford Street, London.

Professor Anna Nekaris, whose research on the slow loris is world renowned, will be speaking at the store event on Thursday (17 September). During the event, Anna will talk about the slow loris and the challenges to their conservation in particular, how the palm oil industry having a destructive impact on slow lorises natural habitat.

Palm Oil production has long been a concern for conservationists and environmental activists because of its extensive use in food products and cosmetics. The palm oil industry is linked to issues such as deforestation and habitat degradation which puts many species of animals, including the slow loris, in jeopardy.

Professor Nekaris has been researching the slow loris and campaigning to save them from extinction for over 20 years. She is the Director of The Little Fireface Project, the world’s longest running conservation project.

Anna said: “My life changed a lot in 2009 when a video of a slow loris being tickled first appeared on YouTube. The animals I had spent my whole life studying, that fellow colleagues called unimportant, suddenly became global superstars fuelling an illegal international pet trade. Thousands, even hundreds of thousands of people who had never heard of a slow loris now wanted one as a pet.

“After a series of short-term studies throughout Asia, I settled in Java working with the most threatened of all the slow lorises. One dream I had was to produce an empathetic children’s book about these primates, and I learned of Lush’s Charity Pot.

“As the major funder of the book, Lush allowed me to get the messages about the importance of slow lorises to the natural environment to more than 1600 children in one of the last dwindling habitats where this rare species occurs.

“I personally have been a long-time user of Lush products and their ethics towards animals (including humans) and the environment, and I felt a special honour getting the Charity Pot funding from an organisation I admired so much.

“I am excited to give this talk so that Lush employees can see how much their funding and support has made a difference.”

Anna’s talk will begin from 6.30pm at the Lush store at 175-179 Oxford Street, London.

Anna launched her annual Slow Loris Outreach Week (SLOW) this which will aim to raise global awareness about the plight of the slow loris. The campaign will encourage people all over the world to change their Facebook banners and profile pictures to the SLOW campaign images and share slow loris conservation messages.

If you are interested in protecting the slow loris you can donate via the Oxford Brookes fundraising pages.

More information about the slow loris and Oxford Brookes’ conservation work can be found on the Oxford Brookes website and the Little Fireface Project website