Chapter index

Captive care, animal welfare, conservation breeding

...... If you see a loris illegally offered on a market, please consider the following facts:
For each animal bought, the next wild loris will be caught, or a loris mother be killed and her infant taken away from her. Most loris forms are increasingly endangered in the wild, and since they get few babies which are carefully reared over long periods, losses due to hunting and trade increasingly threaten wild populations.
Trade with these sensitive animals who easily die from stress is a cruelty. Please also think about the fact that wild animals in captivity cannot choose the place and companions they need for a satisfactory life, and that their senses are much finer than human ones: they will perceive, and suffer from, things you do not even notice. Lorises and pottos are adapted to free life in the nocturnal forest. In captivity, they will suffer and most probably die an early and unpleasant death from stress, painful diseases caused by wrong feeding or accidents in an inadequate environment. And they often die a long, agonizing death, suffering for weeks or even months.
Lorises permanently urinemark their environment. In addition, they may be dangerous pets. They can bite fiercely when feeling disturbed, and they produce a toxin which in humans may cause severe to fatal anaphylactic shock. 
Since lorises and pottos are threatened and protected animals, buying them and keeping them as pets is illegal in almost all countries, often with very high fines. So: 
Please do not buy lorises as pets!
Do not support poaching and the cruelty of illegal trade!


We thank for translation: Xuefeng Zhang (for China), Sandrine + Lionel Cieciura and friends (for Indonesia), Ray Bidasak and friend (Thai), Cheick Coulibaly (French) and some kind Vietnamese students at Ruhr-University who did not note their names and therefore cannot be properly quoted.

Illegal pet trade

Lorises are regularly offered for sale as pets, for instance on the bird markets on Java. Often traders break or rip their teeth out without anesthesia to sell them as pets unable to defend themselves by biting.

Click on the image for a larger version

Transport and treatment of the animals in illegal trade is generally cruel

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Suffering and death for human entertainment
Top left: dying loris on a market. Right: after arrival in a rescue station - funds for adequate care for the many animals in trade are desparately needed. See our page how you can help
Below: teeth are broken out by traders to produce nice pets unable to bite, with no anesthesia or subsequent treatment - as a consequence, besides trauma and pain, the animals suffer from abscesses destroying the jaw bone (below right: open abscesses on top of the muzzle) 
Click on the image for a larger version

If you buy lorises you are directly responsible for their misery and for the deaths of the many animals who do not survive the stress and bad treatment in trade! Even if you buy an animal in order to help - please consider that you promote trade and aggravate the problem by paying the trader. Poaching and selling of lorises must be stopped!

We thank all who helped us to show what happens in illegal trade by sending information and photos!

Husbandry information 

There was a discussion whether husbandry information for threatened wild animals, available via Internet, may promote interest in keeping them as pets, or whether awareness of problems and a possible increase of life span in captivity will rather reduce the amount of illegal pet trade. Any information allowing to verify this would be very interesting (mail-contact). Experience showed that lorises are bought illegally, even if the buyers have no idea how to keep them, so at present the majority believes that longevity of captive lorises increased from few months to possibly about 18 years (their natural life-span) will probably lead to diminished pet trade. If openly offered husbandry information promotes pet trade, this chapter may, in the future, be only available to authorized institutions such as rescue facilities or zoos via password.

Experience with captive care still leaves many questions open. Particularly inadequate nutrition may cause health problems or death of animals, this chapter therefore still needs careful consideration before included here. Please do not blame us for any consequences when you apply the information offered here and help further improve it when possible. Regular observation of captive animals (see figures of signs of problems in the disease database) and non-invasive health checks, for instance with urine dipsticks, may help to notice problems in time.

  Table of contents

Captive care and breeding - online information updated permanently
Husbandry information for Loris from Ruhr-University, general information (all species), updates
Loris husbandry manual - online edition: table of contents
Fitch-Snyder et al., 2001 / Zoological Society of San Diego
with additional pdf files for printing
Safety of keepers; handling of lorises, danger by loris toxin .
Recommendations for construction of the cage itself
Light, temperature, humidity
Cage furnishing and use
possible causes of accidents
Substrate preference during activity period by captive slender lorises
Substrate use
Choice of sleeping places and meaning of different sleeping postures
Technical considerations - artificial light
  in preparation
Minimum Standards for Housing Asian Lorisines
Habitat design Cleaning Cages
Behaviour: see behaviour chapter (under construction, at present only literature references and vocalization)
Abnormal behaviour in captivity
Behavior .
Determination of sex . .
Environmental enrichment: under construction An Enriched Environment .
Mixed species housing: in preparation Mixed species exhibits
Judgement of wellbeing: see disease database: 
   Behaviour indicating environmental stress
   Behaviour indicating social stress
   Judgement of behaviour: facial expressions
   Behaviour evaluated as a sign of wellbeing
   Behavioural signs of weakness or unwellbeing
More: see disease database index
. ..
Judgement of the nutritional state
Nutrition .
Health: see disease database
Special needs and problems of old animals
Health .
Reproduction, breeding: in preparation
   Signs of reproductive state, estrus
Reproduction .
Handrearing Infant care, handrearing .
Transport with consideration of stress problems . .
First care for confiscated animals, animals after transport to new locations and sick wild animals . .
References References .
Studbooks, captive management

Some printed sources

Fitch-Snyder, H.; Schulze, H. (eds.); Larson, L. (compiler), 2001: Management of Lorises in captivity. A husbandry manual for Asian Loridae Nycticebus & Loris spp.). Center for Reproduction of Endangered Species, Zoological Society of San Diego, Box 551, San Diego, CA 92112-0551.
Coworkers / coautors: Karen Worley, Lisa Bottcher-Law (Woodland Park Zoological Gardens), Janet Hawes (San Diego Zoo), Jackie Ogden (Disney´s Animal Kingdom), Ilse Stalis, D.V.M. (San Diego Zoo), Meg Sutherland-Smith D.V.M. (San Diego Zoo), Barbara Toddes (Philadellphia Zoo), Kerri Slifka (Brookfield Zoo), Barbara Lester (Houston Zoological Gardens), Helga Schulze (Ruhr-University Bochum).

Fitch-Snyder, H.; Schulze, H.; Larson, L. et al.; vietnames adaptation by Nguyen Xuân Dang and Dang Ngoc Cân, 2001: Huóng Dân Ky Thuât Nuôi Cu Li Châu Á [Management of Lorises in captivity]. Vietnamese edition of the husbandry manual for Asian Loridae (Nycticebus & Loris spp.). Center for Reproduction of Endangered Species, Zoological Society of San Diego, Box 551, San Diego, CA 92112-0551. Online edition in preparation

Editors of husbandry manuals or databases for other species may find some ideas concerning husbandry research and useful captive management information in:
Schulze, H.; Benirschke, K.; Doyle, G. A.; Johann, A.; Meier, B.; Wirth, R.; Zimmermann, E., 1998: A "check list" of possible items for prosimian husbandry manuals and research. Folia Primatologica 69, Suppl. 1 (Proceedings of the international conference on the biology and conservation of prosimians, Chester, 13-17 November 1995): 152-170.
Updated word file of this publication available on request as an e-mail attachment: mail to helga.schulze@cityweb.de

We thank the editors of "Ceatures of the Dark" (Lon Alterman, Gerald A. Doyle and M. Kay Izard) and of the "International Zoo Yearbook" (Fiona Anne Fisken) for allowing full use of figures and data published by them for other conservation and animal welfare purposes.

More husbandry literature

Some useful links to external websites

Privacy policy / Datenschutz

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Conservation database for lorises (Loris, Nycticebus) and pottos (Arctocebus, Perodicticus), prosimian primates
Last amendment: 26 April 2011
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