Endangered loris under state protection after rare sighting in SW China village

A slow loris, which is under first-class state protection in China, made a rare visit to a village in southwest China's Yunnan Province last Wednesday and was sent to a local wildlife rescue center by police the next day.

Upon receiving the call, local police rushed to the village in Longchuan County, Dehong Dai and Jingpo Autonomous Prefecture of the province, and found the big-eyed animal sitting in a barrel with some corn scattered around it. 

Slow loris with big eyes. /VCG Photo

Slow loris with big eyes. /VCG Photo

A police officer put on protective gloves and took the loris out of the barrel. 

Because of the rainwater in the barrel, the little animal was all wet with water dripping from its body, but holding onto a corn cob tightly. 

The officers tried to put it into a cage, but after struggling for a while decided to stick it in a bag.

A small slow loris hugs tree tightly. /VCG Photo

A small slow loris hugs tree tightly. /VCG Photo

"We saw it sitting here in the evening and put it into the barrel. Looking down at it, we found that it seemed to be a species of protected animal that we had seen on TV. We reported it to the forest police early the next morning and asked them to check the animal here," said local villager Shi Leyou, pointing at some wood piled up beside a wall. 

After a check-up, the animal was found to be in good shape, and was sent to the wildlife rescue center in Dehong Thursday afternoon. 

The slow loris is one of the first-class state protected animals in China. It is a nocturnal primate that feeds on fruits, insects and small mammals. It mainly inhabits in China's Yunnan Province, and Vietnam, Laos and eastern Cambodia.

(Cover image via VCG)

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