Maybe you’ve seen their cute faces before online or on the television, just staring at the camera with their big beautiful eyes and their cute baby-like faces. In fact, in some areas around the world, the poisonous factor is obviously overlooked when it comes to how cute they are, and some countries, like Russia, allow people to have the slow loris as a pet. There are many reasons behind other countries, like the United States, prohibiting such an animal to live with humans. Among others, the main cause is probably because they have elbows that if they lick and then decide to bite you, well, let’s just say you’ll be in a lot of pain for several hours.
Even though “slow loris” is Dutch for “lores” (a word that means “sluggish”), this little guy is found in places like the southern Philippines to southern China to Borneo. They are also called “malu malu” as the Indonesian name meaning “shy one,” a title that matches this normally secretive creature.
In the wild, slow lorises usually dine on meat like lizards and insects, catching their prey with both hands after approaching it in a slow and hushed manner. But occasionally they’ll eat fruits and even munch on the gum exudate found on some trees. If it feels as if it’s threatened, this little primate will secrete a liquid poison from its inner elbows, thus getting the toxin on its teeth and digging those little fangs into whatever it is it dubs dangerous. The glans from which the secretion comes are almost like sweat pores, which is said to be fitting since the toxin actually emits a sweaty like odor according to some researchers and slow loris owners. The poison can kill many creatures, and because the tiny primate also has powerful jaws, they deliver one heck of a bite!
Some people might imagine this animal to bite like some kind of strange tiny vampire, but actually the teeth that are lathered in the poisonous liquid are the lower front fangs, which jut out forward to assist in contacting the toxin to the freshly opened wound.
Despite the fact that the slow loris is actually an endangered animal, they are still able to be purchased as pets. In fact, in the past this creature has actually won an award for “Cutest Critter Caught on Tape” (St. Petersburg, Russia). But that’s not surprising when see how adorable they are … as long as they don’t lick their elbows and bite you.