All you need to know about the primate Slender Loris which is getting its own sanctuary in TN

All you need to know about the primate Slender Loris which is getting its own sanctuary in TN
  • Slender Loris is a primate that’s native to India and Sri Lanka.
  • They hide in thick, thorny bushes and find insects which is their main diet.
  • They are poached due to the misplaced belief that they possess magical and medicinal powers.
Slender Loris looks like a distant cousin of lemur. These doll-sized primates are native to India and Sri Lanka and are also amongst the world’s top 25 endangered primates.

On October 12, India unveiled the very first sanctuary for this primate spread across 11,806 hectares in Karur and Dindigul districts in Tamil Nadu.

Here are some interesting facts about these nocturnal mammals.

What are Slender Loris?

Residing on Acacia trees, Slender Lorises have long thin arms and closely set big brown eyes. They are mostly found in hedgerow plantations bordering farmlands. They prefer to hide in thick, thorny bushes and find insects which is their main diet according to the World Wildlife Federation.


Slender Loris are primarily insectivorous and aborgenal. Due to their insect-eating habits, they play a key role in protecting crops and thereby farmers.

Like most other primates, they also eat leaves, flowers, slugs and eggs of birds.

Why are Slender Loris endangered?

Due to poaching and ecological factors, they have become rarer to spot. They are listed under endangered species as per the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

“These animals face a threat from poachers due to the misplaced belief that these animals have magical and medicinal powers. This hunting, along with destruction of their habitat, is their major threat. They are one of the least studied of all primates in India,” says WWF India.

Their body parts like heart, liver, kidneys, limbs are used for black magic rituals to gain hypnotic powers, create love potions and more. Some are even killed as their body parts are believed to possess medicinal benefits and used to treat leprosy, joint pain and poor eyesight.

Since they freeze when threatened, it is easy to capture them.

Slender Loris are under the high protection list of the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species. This list also features threatened Asian elephants, Amazon river dolphin and Amur tiger.

Interesting facts

Apart from leading a nocturnal life, they exhibit strange behaviour like using their own urine to wash their face and body. This helps them recover from the sting of insect bites.

They mate twice a year and live for over 12 years.

As per reports, there are 14,000 Slender Loris in the Dindigul and Karur forests in Tamil Nadu. India is assigning ₹5 crores for their preservation in Kadavur Slender Loris sanctuary until 2026.

India has 65 wildlife sanctuaries in India, covering 3.73% of its geographical area. They conserve tigers, elephants, rhinos, lions, macaques and langurs. And now Slender Loris is added to the list. Some well known sanctuaries are Jim Corbett, Periyar sanctuary, Sundarbans, Kaziranga and Ranthambore.

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