Baby Bengal Loris Nora

On March 20th Lebanese authorities went to a pet shop in Beirut following reports of three tiny loris that were being offered for sale “for the first time ever” on an internet advertisement.

The baby loris were being offered for sale for $2,000 each. When police got to the shop they found only one baby loris which they confiscated. The owner of the shop claimed he did not realise they were a protected species and did not know where the other two infants were as he only got one. Our friends and colleagues from Animals Lebanon were called to assist with the tiny primate.

This confiscation occurred just as Alison was in the process of making arrangements for Monkey World’s veterinarian, John Lewis, to travel to Beirut to do health checks on Benny & Nia the two red-bellied guenons that were already moving to Monkey World!  Alison was able to send John out with specialist supplies of powdered nectar and gum that along with live insects is a good basis for a loris diet. Jason Mier from Animals Lebanon set up a good home and lovely routine for the tiny primate – every evening the little loris was let out of the cage to climb around Jason’s office finding hidden insects and foods. While the loris could have a serious toxic bite, the little one seemed to relax and was happy exploring a new home and discovering new foods that tasted good.  At this point Alison did not know if the loris was a little boy or a girl as it is not easy to tell. On the 26th of March the loris weighed 190g, TINY, but from the markings it looked like a Bengal slow loris.

Alison first met the little loris when she went to collect the guenons in May. Sadly, she was not able to move the tiny prosimian at the same time as the Lebanese courts were still pursuing criminal charges against the pet shop. She was however able to meet the little loris and was able to get a good look at HER. It was decided to name her Nora. At the end of June, a judge gave permission for Nora to be released into the specialist care of Monkey World even though court proceedings were still pending. Alison contacted British Airways, DEFRA, and Border Force as she was going to need their help and approval to make special transport arrangements for the now 235g primate. Everyone could not have been more helpful and recognised that this tiny, vulnerable, endangered species needed special transport arrangements. British Airways not only donated tickets but also allowed Alison to carry Nora onto the plane and keep her special transport box secured in the space in front of her feet! It was a very early start and long day for all of us humans but little Nora took the move in her stride.

For such a tiny little thing Nora didn’t take long at all to get over her long journey and settle into life at Monkey World. Her carers from Animals Lebanon, Jason and Maggie, came with her for the first few days to make sure she settled well and familiarised herself with the PCS at the park. She quickly became a confident, inquisitive loris- so much so that she often had to be bribed away from her enclosure door with food so that staff could get into her bedroom to put the food in. She’s gained a good amount of weight since her arrival and is very fond of insects, particularly locusts. We’re so glad that the Lebanese Authorities and Animals Lebanon were able to rescue her before she was able to be sold into a life of misery in the pet trade and they hope to integrate her into living with another loris in the coming weeks.

The Jim Cronin Memorial Fund was very pleased to assist with funding for this rescue, another example of fantastic teamwork and cohesive working for the benefit of primates in need!