Bad Romance: Slow Lorises and the Wildlife Trade

Columbia Science Review

By Alexandra DeCandia

On February 17th, “little monsters” were in uproar: a poisonous primate had the audacity to bite Lady Gaga. A fuzzy prop in her latest music video, the offending slow loris nipped the star’s finger and was immediately returned to its box and carried away “in disgrace,” its role stricken from the video.

The media loved this story. Due to the victim’s high profile and the aggressor’s status as the “cutest animal in the world,” the incident appeared in print, on television, and all over the Internet. With the exception of conservation blogs, the majority of coverage laughed it off as entertainment, joke-fodder, and a segue into listing tour dates. Within days, it was old news, and nothing more than yesterday’s anecdote.

loris5 Slow lorises are endemic to rainforests in South and Southeast Asia. Here, a Javan slow loris is shown in the wild (where it belongs)…

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