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Selfie tourism is killing these incredibly cute creatures

ISOBEL HAMILTON: ‘A small furry creature huddles close to a tree branch on the edge of the forest. Its large, globular eyes are shut (it’s daytime, and so now it sleeps); its strong hands and arms hold firm even as it slumbers. n a deep sleep, the creature doesn’t hear the rustling of approaching predators. Before it knows what’s happening, it’s plucked from the tree and bundled into a bag. When it is finally taken out into the blinding light of day, metal pliers are forced into its mouth to clip its teeth. Then it is shoved into a wire cage, alone and in pain.

Later it is sold for the price of half a pack of cigarettes. A little bit later still, it’s in a photo on Instagram. It is accompanied by the hashtags #slowloris #adorable #squee. This is just one example of a growing trend which is afflicting many cute and cuddly wild animals across the world. “Efforts are needed to continue to raise awareness of the plight of slow lorises,” is the conclusion to an investigation published earlier this year. “Without a change in attitude from the public, the use of slow lorises as photograph props is likely to continue and to spread.” Indeed, far from abating, the abuse of the slow loris through social media has taken on yet another dimension in the form of so-called “selfie tourism”.’ SOURCE…

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