29 July 2010

Passa, the greater slow loris: from Sumatra to Java

Five years ago Mrs Yayat came to Pulau Bengkalis, Riau, Sumatra to follow the transmigration programme. Every once in a while she came back to her hometown in Pasar Sabtu Desa Situ Udik Kecamatan Cibungbulang Bogor, Java.

One time she came back from Sumatra bringing a baby animal. It was the baby of a slow loris. As she was not staying in Java for long, the baby was then reared by her cousin. News of this baby eventually reached IAR. So on 29 May 2010 the rescue team from IAR Indonesia came to the house of Mrs Yayat's cousin.

The baby was being kept inside a small wooden box in the kitchen. For food, the owner was giving it only cucumber and banana. Because of the lack of knowledge about the nocturnal behaviour of the slow loris, the owner took it out of the box every morning.

The baby was a male greater slow loris. He had been named Passa. When the rescue team arrived Passa looked unhealthy and stressed (he is aggressive). He didn't respond even when the rescue team gave him insects.

Mrs Yayah and her cousin had no idea that the animal they were taking care of was a slow loris, they thought it was a cuscus. Also they did not know that the slow loris is a protected animal and not a pet.

At the moment Passa is in the quarantine cage at IAR's Rehabilitation Centre in Indonesia, Ciapus.

It is high time people were aware of the slow loris and realised that they are animals protected by the law.

IAR Indonesia has the biggest slow loris rehabilitation centre. Right now we are about to release four slow lorises into Batutegi Lampung, Sumatra.

Let's hope that one day Passa will also live free again in the wild.

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