34 Javan slow lorises, two civets and one protected tortoise were saved from the illegal pet trade in Indonesia, a UK based charity has said.
The Special Criminal Investigation Directorate of West-Java Regional Police managed to stop traffickers smuggling in the animals.
Under Indonesian law, hunting, capturing or keeping slow lorises as pets is strictly forbidden. However, hundreds of these animals are still sold openly every day in animal markets throughout Indonesia, according to UK based charity International Animal Rescue.
The charity reported that Mr Diki Budiman, assistant director of the Special Crime Unit of Polda, West Java, said: “The modus operandi of these criminals begins with the hunters who capture the animals from the wild. Then they sell the lorises to dealers for just £3. The dealers then sell them for £12.50 – £31”.
Slow lorises have risen to fame with owners posting videos on the internet of their ‘pets’. They look cute but they are one of the only poisonous mammals, although many have their teeth clipped or pulled out before being sold.
“The lorises are then sold online, via Facebook and other social networks. Social media is a new method that is being used increasingly by animal traffickers,” the charity claimed.