Teacher Sees Animal Clinging To Power Cables At School — And Decides To Help
He used to be someone’s “pet” — but his former owner dumped him.
Last week, a teacher arrived for work at a local primary school in Thailand when she encountered an unexpected visitor. Clinging to some power cables outside a classroom was a very scared-looking Bengal slow loris.
The teacher initially worried that the slow loris might harm the kids, so she got in touch with Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand (WFFT), an animal rescue organization, and asked for help. The WFFT team had different worries — they feared the students might accidentally hurt the slow loris, or that the slow loris might electrocute himself on the cables — so they hurried to the school as quickly as possible.
Thankfully, the WFFT team arrived to find the slow loris unharmed, and still grasping onto the power cables.
“This shy nocturnal primate was highly exposed with nowhere to hide,” Tom Taylor, assistant director for WFFT, wrote in a Facebook post. “He was scared with all the noise and commotion.”
At that point, the WFFT team wasn’t sure if the slow loris was a wild animal who’d wandered onto the school grounds or if he was someone’s former illegal pet. When they pulled the slow loris from the power cables and had a good look at him, they sadly quickly figured out that he’d been kept as a pet before.
“It appears that he has had his canine teeth clipped,” Taylor told The Dodo. “This is a common practice with both pet and photo-prop lorisies.”
The rescue team also suspects the slow loris’s former owner had deliberately dumped him.
“He will have been dumped in the local area, but may have spent the whole night trying to find a place to rest,” Taylor said.
After removing him from the cables, the rescue team transported the slow loris, now named Noris, to the WFFT wildlife hospital. Sadly, many of Noris’s remaining teeth were rotten and had to be removed. “Bad diet [in captivity] may have also caused his teeth to decay,” Taylor said.
Without teeth, Noris won’t be able to hunt, so he can’t be returned to the wild, Taylor explained. But the WFFT team will do everything it can to give Noris a happy, fulfilling life at the sanctuary.
“Two days in and he is eating well,” Taylor said. “We are giving him as much space as possible so he can settle in to his new life.
Bengal slow lorises like Noris are classified as “vulnerable” species by the International International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) — and people worry they could soon be endangered if the pet trade isn’t stopped. The Javan slow loris is already critically endangered.
Slow lorises are also threatened by habitat loss as a result of farming, tree removal, human settlement, road building, dams, power lines, soil loss and intentional fires designed to clear forest for plantations. Slow lorises are also hunted for their meat and for use in traditional medicine, and captured to be sold as exotic pets.