Killer cuteness: The slow and painful death of the real-life Furbies that have become a YouTube sensation


Their large eyes add to the cuteness of the slow lorises but there are fears the primates will soon become extinct

Their cuteness has made them an internet sensation. But ther popularity is now threatening their very survival.

Thanks to millions of hits on YouTube slow lorises have become a must-have pet - and are being plucked from their natural habitat in the rainforests of south-east Asia and traded for up to £3,500.

But what happens to them before they are 'customer ready' makes their plight even more distressing.

They have to have their teeth ripped out with nail clippers so that they don't cause an injury to their new owners.

The popular children's Furby toy has a striking resemblance to the slow loris. Student Richard Moore, left, is working on conservation research in Java on behalf of International Animal Rescue to help their survival

There is a global high protection order under endangered species conventions meaning they can't be transported to the UK but the black market is rife and it is feared that many are smuggled in.

The population of slow lorises has declined to the point that there are now fears over their survival and they could soon become extinct.

Two of the endangered primates were smuggled aboard a Brisbane-bound flight from Singapore but had to be put down by quarantine officers.

The crew on the Emirates flight found them in the cabin during the filght and when the plane landed in Australia customs officials took the animals.

A spokesman said: 'Slow lorises can carry several diseases... including rabies and they also have a bite that is toxic.'

Slow Loris Conservation in Java

Tickling Slow Loris

source: dailymail