Chapter Index

Behaviour indicating environmental stress in Loris

When disturbed by some stimulus or frightened, slender lorises usually show slow, hesitating movements, often freezing to motionlessness for a limited time (a). Hiding of the conspicuously coloured face (b), hiding behind some cover (c) or flight to a high place (d) are also common signs of environmental stress due to some disturbance. When closely approached, the animal may try to defend itself by growling (d), other threat behaviour or attacks. e: Hanging under the ceiling for a longer period after disturbance indicates rather severe stress; the animal may even sleep in this position (f). g: longer freezing in unusual, asymmetric postures has been observed in animals suffering from severe stress after transport to an unfamiliar environment; in such cases, protection from noise and other disturbance is very necessary. h: Particularly in animals suffering from environmental stress, acoustic stimuli or sudden changes of light intensity may cause epileptoform seizures with saliva dripping from the mouth.

Reduced food consumption is another typical consequence of severe environmental stress. The figure above shows the amount of food consumed in the first days after transfer to a new environment by two animals. Quarantain conditions were good in this case, with protection from optical and acoustical disturbance and plenty of cover in the cages.

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Loris and related species: health
 Last amendment: 5 May 2000
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