Remember the story of Lonely Loris, the doe-eyed male slow loris that was found abandoned on the streets on the UAE? Well, now, in a bittersweet twist of fate, another poor critically endangered creature, this time a female, has been found – and it's the perfect partner for the little fella.
Watch the video below to see the moment the two critters met for the first time...
Lonely Loris was found abandoned in a box late last year and is thought to have been illegally trafficked. He soon settled into his new home at The Green Planet, Dubai’s indoor rainforest bio-dome.
At the time, it was announced that the conservation team were “on a quest through the correct channels to find our Lonely Loris a girlfriend”. This meant scouring international zoo databases for the perfect breeding partner.
Then came Amal, a second slow loris whose name means “hope” in English, who was also found abandoned on the UAE streets and is thought to have been illegally smuggled into the country. The pair have been partnered up, and The Green Planet team is even building them a new home within the facility – a specially designed habitat just for the two of them.
“As unfortunate as it is that yet another slow loris has been found abandoned in the region, we are happy to be able to offer her a home in the Green Planet and a suitable partner for conservation breeding,” comments Victoria Lynn, general manager of Family Entertainment Centers, a division of DXB Entertainments that owns The Green Planet. “The pair have been together for several weeks and we are extremely happy to see that they are bonding wonderfully.”
Shedding light on illegal animal trade
The doe-eyed primates are Sunda slow lorises from Java, Indonesia. They sleep for about 16 to 18 hours a day. There are nine species of slow loris, which originate from Asia, and they are at significant risk of extinction in the wild sharing the same critical status as African elephants, gorillas and orangutans.
In 2007, the slow loris was listed under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, prohibiting international commercial trade of the creature.
With the welcoming of this new member of the family, the team at the Dubai attraction are highlighting the growing concern of illicit animal trade in the region. If you do decide to visit the little lovebirds, experts will be on-hand to offer information about this endangered species, and will answer any questions you might have about the impacts of the illegal animal trade.
Perhaps it's time to find a new name for Lonely?