"Clips on YouTube showing pet slow lorises being tickled or handfed have led to a clamour from people all over the world to own one of these shy, nocturnal primates, even though they are completely unsuited to life as a domestic pet," IAR said.
To meet this demand, the small animals are being poached from the wild at an extraordinary rate - which could have serious implications for the species' future. Four of the eight slow loris species are classified as vulnerable by the IUCN Red List, one is critically endangered and the remaining three have yet to be classified.
The animals who are taken from their forest homes don't have a happy future - they're forced into tiny cages and fed rice and other inappropriate foods instead of the varied diet they'd thrive on in the wild. "It's no surprise that most of them are malnourished and suffering from serious health problems," Tickling Is Torture campaign head Phily Kennington explained in a statement.
Most cruelly, their captors clip off their little teeth with pliers, without anesthesia. A video released by the Tickling Is Torture campaign, narrated by actor Peter Egan, shows one little slow loris squeaking in pain as his teeth are removed.