This cute but venomous Slow Loris was saved from the streets of the UAE.
A wide-eyed primate that’s one of the few poisonous mammals in the world, the Loris now lives in the emirate’s indoor rainforest.
Dubbed ‘Lonely Loris,’ the endangered animal joins 3,000 other plants and animals at The Green Planet. The eco-centre teamed up with the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE) to help the wide-eyed animal.
Visitors to the glass-topped bio-dome will be able to see one of the rarest primates on earth on the second-floor understory level.
After being found mistreated and abandoned in a box, the Green Plant is now looking at zoo databases to find the Slow Loris a partner. Also new to the evergreen attraction (though we don’t think they’ll hang out) are 1,000 pygocentrus nattereri, or red-bellied piranhas.
The southeast Asian omnivore can live for up to 20 years on a diet of slugs, insects, fruit and eggs. Loris is a Dutch word for clown, but there’s nothing funny about the animal’s venomous bite. Although they can still stay still for hours at a name, Lorises’ ability to see in almost total darkness means they ‘race walk’ at night for up to eight kilometres.
Paul Parker, general manager, said: “We are so happy to be able to provide him with a home. The Slow Loris is a critically endangered species, meaning they 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 government has a zero-tolerance approach to illegal wildlife trafficking and has recently clamped down on online animal trading.
Hiba Al Shehhi, acting director of the Biodiversity Department at MOCCAE, said: “We are confident that our actions are making an impact on 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 the illegal wildlife trade.”
City Walk. Open Sunday-Wednesday, 10am-7pm; Thursday-Saturday 10am-8pm. Tickets are from AED 89 online and AED 99 on the door. For more information, visit www.thegreenplanetdubai.com