Boris, the bengal slow loris
Boris, the bengal slow loris being treated at Wildlife Friends Foundation ThailandFacebook / Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand

A male Bengal slow loris was rescued in Thailand earlier this month from a life as a prop for tourist touts to sell selfies with the exotic animal. Rescued in the popular spot of Koh Samui earlier in June, the loris was then taken to Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand (WFFT), where he will be looked after.

When the team at WFFT were able to check out the Loris, now named Boris, they found some disturbing things: Boris's teeth had been clipped, he had a broken wrist and was covered in ticks. WFFT suggested that the "cruel snares" used to capture lorises in the wild are probably what caused the animal's broken wrist.

Loris's are the only venomous primate, according to WFFT, so their teeth are clipped when they are being used as tourist props so that customers are not hurt by their poisonous bite. "The sad reality for the animals embroiled in a life of abuse within the tourist photo prop industry, involves being taken from the wild, ripped away from their mothers, sometimes drugged, their body parts modified to suite the needs of tourists, they spend endless nights being dragged around bright, loud, overpopulated and polluted areas."

The WTTF says that the Slow Loris is in decline, having seen its population decrease by 30% in three generations due to hunting and habitat loss. The ICUN classified Bengal Slow Lorises as vulnerable with a decreasing population.

As Boris has had his teeth cut down, he will not be able to go back into the wild, but will stay at the WTTF Wildlife Rescue Centre where they say, "he will be able to climb in the trees, receive proper diet, mix with his own species, and never be handled by a tourist or a tourist tout ever again."