'Lonely Loris' found abandoned in Dubai gets new home

Indoor rainforest The Green Planet has taken in a rescued slow loris, which was found in a box on the streets

The slow loris - dubbed Lonely Loris by rescuers - was found abandoned in a box on the street. Courtesy: The Green Planet
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An abandoned slow loris, which has been named Lonely Loris, was rescued from Dubai's streets and has now been rehomed at indoor rainforest bio-dome The Green Planet.

Lonely Loris was found abandoned in a box two months ago and is thought to have been illegally trafficked. He has now settled into his new home and the team has set about trying to find him a mate for breeding purposes.

The doe-eyed primate is a Sunda slow loris from Java, Indonesia. 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.

The Green Planet and the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment have teamed up to offer the Slow Loris a new home. Courtesy The Green Planet

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.

"We are so happy to be able to provide him with a home," said Paul Parker, general manager of Family Entertainment Centers, a division of DXB Entertainments that owns The Green Planet.

"The slow loris should only be in captivity for breeding purposes, and we are now on a quest through the correct channels to find our Lonely Loris a girlfriend.

"We are looking at zoo databases globally to find a suitable female candidate."

The UAE has recently taken steps to crack down on the trade of exotic animals.

Hiba Al Shehhi, acting director of biodiversity at the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, said: “We are confident that our actions are making an impact on the illegal wildlife trade in the region. We have strict controls in place to curb the trade, however, we believe awareness needs to be front and centre.

"We are happy that this slow loris was lucky enough to have been found and taken care of professionally at The Green Planet. We hope his story can help educate the community and paint a clearer picture of the dangers of illegal wildlife trade.”

As well as legislation, the ministry has worked to tighten controls and hosts workshops in a bid to improve awareness around animal trafficking in customs departments.

The move shines spotlight on illegal animal trade in the UAE. Courtesy The Green Planet

Guests at The Green Planet will now get the chance to meet Lonely Loris, and educate themselves on this breed of nocturnal mammal, as well as keep up-to-date with his Dubai journey and search for a partner.

He joins a family of more than 3,000 other animals and plants who call the bio-dome home, including a Linnaeus's two-toed sloth, a Burmese python, squirrel monkeys and 1,000 piranhas.