We are lucky to have the slow loris and many other cool animals living in Krabi near Krabi Town and the rainforest in Ao Nang and Tub Kaak. These are super-cute little nocturnal primates (mammals) that climb trees like monkeys, but slowly. They are never aggressive but possess an effective defensive technique. They have venom glands on their arms!
It’s true, they are the only known venomous primate in the world.
Learn more about this fascinating creature in Krabi by reading this short Slow Loris information profile. To go on a night field trip click here to see slow lorises in the wild on a night trip, or plan a custom trip with us.
Where to Find Slow Lorises in Krabi?
These peaceful animals live in the trees and are seen there almost exclusively. However, on a few occasions over the last couple of decades, we’ve seen them on the ground. Once crossing a highway! This happens most often in residential areas where the trees are not as dense and easy to cross from tree to tree.
The best place to find slow lorises in Krabi is in the rainforest. A country road or path through the forest that isn’t used much is an ideal place to find them.
You can find the slow loris in Krabi from Tub Kaak, to Ao Nang, to Krabi Town, to the small subdistricts all over Krabi.
How to See Lorises in the Rainforest?
There are a couple of ways to spot slow lorises in the wild.
Go at night. You have a much better chance of seeing a loris at night because their eyes are big and orange and reflect light as far as a hundred meters away.
Shine your flashlight or headlamp into the trees and look for orange eye reflections shining back. Keep in mind, there are also civets in the trees, so it will be that animal occasionally.
Take care not to shine a very bright light into the loris’s eyes. We are not sure if there can be damage caused, and some of today’s lights are exceptionally bright – especially the LED lights.
When you do spot a slow loris, turn your light away from direct contact and point it at something nearby. That should be enough illumination to see the loris.
What Are the Threats Slow Lorises Face in Krabi?
All over Thailand and Asia where the slow loris can be found, there are threats to it because they are easy to exploit with their soft, gentle nature.
Unfortunately, it’s sad to note that the main threats to slow lorises are human activity like habitat destruction, illegal wildlife trade, photos with tourists, and poaching.
Some of the slow loris’ natural and unnatural predators are described below.
The Pet Trade
Slow loris traps are placed in Krabi, usually near or in banana trees, but I have seen them in other low-lying trees a few meters off the ground. The trappers who will exploit these poor animals by bringing them from the wilderness into the pet trade will place fruit laced with drugs to knock the slow lorises out to be collected later.
Once in captivity, they will pull out their sharp canine teeth so they cannot harm the handlers.
Slow Loris Exploitation in Krabi and Phuket (all islands and tourist areas)
It used to be very common ten years ago to be walking the beach road in Ao Nang (or at any major hotel beach) and see a Thai with a slow loris on his/her shoulder or carrying it like a baby. Some of these creatures have been taken out of the wild and used to make these animal exploiters money.
Tourists pose for photos for 100 THB or something nominal, but over the day, the person exploiting these amazing animals makes thousands of Thai Baht.
Slow loris videos have created an internet stir, thanks to videos of them raising their arms to be tickled. Or, what humans consider tickling. However, the sad part is that when a slow loris raises its arms, it is afraid and takes a defensive posture.
There has been crackdown after crackdown about heartless people exploiting lorises like this, and now the general Thai population and tourist population have been made aware of the horrible conditions these primates endure so tourists can take cute photos.
IF YOU SEE IT HAPPENING, call the tourist police immediately and let them know!
Snakes like the reticulated python feed on slow lorises in the wild. Pythons are adept climbers and can easily climb a tree where they smell a loris, especially if the loris climbed the tree from the bottom and left its scent.
Mongooses and civets may also attack slow lorises, but this probably doesn’t happen too often in the wild
Leopards of all kinds may target slow lorises, and in the primary forest where they are found most often, they may make up a considerable portion of their diet.
Certain birds of prey like owls and eagles, have been known to prey on slow lorises in Krabi and Southern Thailand. These large carnivorous birds have sharp talons and keen eyesight, which allows them to spot and capture small mammals like the slow loris when they are in the trees or on the ground.
Slow Loris Defense Response (don’t miss this)
Near the elbow on each arm, the slow loris has venom glands that are activated when responding to a threat from another animal or human. As the venom seeps from the glands, the loris will lick this venom to soak it up into the mouth and mix it with saliva. This creates a toxic venomous bite when the venom is injected under the skin after a bite.
The venom can cause a variety of symptoms including redness, swelling, numbness, allergic reactions, anaphylaxis, etc.
It’s possible that someone die from the bite if anaphylaxis sets in.
An article about lorises in the New York Times said the venom causes bad necrosis – death of tissue in contact with the venom.
It’s so interesting! I don’t know of any other animal in the kingdom that uses this unique method to arm its teeth with venom. Do you? Let me know if you’ve heard of such a thing in another animal.
Thailand Slow Loris Species – Sunda and Bengal
Certainly! Let’s explore the Sunda slow loris and the Bengal slow loris, two distinct species of slow lorises found in Southeast Asia.
Sunda Slow Loris (Nycticebus coucang)
The Sunda slow loris, also known as the greater slow loris, is a primate species native to Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore. Here are some key features and characteristics to help you identify it and know more about its behavior.
Appearance – The Sunda slow loris has large eyes, a round head, and a short snout. Sunda slow lorises have a variety of fur colors, including shades of brown, gray, or reddish-brown, with lighter underparts.
Nocturnal Lifestyle – Like other slow loris species, the Sunda slow loris is primarily nocturnal. It is well-adapted to its arboreal (tree-dwelling) habitat and moves slowly and deliberately through the forest canopy.
Diet – Sunda slow lorises are omnivorous, feeding on a variety of foods. Their diet consists mainly of fruits, gums, nectar, insects, and occasionally small vertebrates.
Venomous Glands – One unique feature of the Sunda slow loris is the presence of venomous glands in its elbows. When threatened, it can lick these glands and deliver a toxic bite. The venom is produced by a combination of chemicals present in the loris’ saliva, and it can cause pain or irritation to potential predators or threats.
Bengal Slow Loris (Nycticebus bengalensis)
The Bengal slow loris, also known as the northern slow loris, is another species of slow loris found in parts of South and Southeast Asia, including Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, and parts of Thailand. Here are some characteristics of the Bengal slow loris:
Appearance – Bengal slow lorises have a similar body structure to other slow loris species. They have a round head, large eyes, and a dense, woolly coat. Their fur color varies, ranging from grayish-brown to reddish-brown, and they often have a pale stripe running along their back.
Nocturnal and Arboreal – Like other slow lorises, the Bengal slow loris is primarily nocturnal and arboreal, spending most of its life in trees. It has a slow and deliberate movement pattern, relying on its strong limbs and prehensile tail to navigate its environment.
Diet – Bengal slow lorises are omnivorous, feeding on a diverse diet of fruits, gums, nectar, tree sap, and occasionally small animals and insects.
It’s important to note that slow lorises are protected wildlife, and it is illegal to keep them as pets or engage in any activities that harm or exploit them. It is crucial to appreciate these fascinating primates in their natural habitats while supporting conservation initiatives aimed at their preservation. Read more about this below.
Slow Loris Conservation
Both the Sunda slow loris and the Bengal slow loris face threats in the wild, primarily due to habitat loss, deforestation, and illegal wildlife trade. They are listed as vulnerable species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), highlighting the need for conservation efforts to protect their populations.
Both of these slow loris species are listed as ‘Protected’ under Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), which covers them and prohibits commercial international trade of these species.
These lorises are protected species in Thailand due to their vulnerability to habitat loss and illegal wildlife trade.
Within Thailand, you can be fined or jailed for possessing a slow loris.
Bite victims can experience dizziness and other medical complications if envenomed by the bite of a slow loris. The venom is strong if enough gets injected into a person’s bloodstream. Don’t handle wild slow lorises!
No, a sloth is a completely different species from the slow lorises found in Asia and it is from a different part of the world – South America.
It is rare for zoos to have slow lorises as they are decreasing and even listed as vulnerable and endangered across some of their range according to IUCNRedlist.org, the animal conservation group.
Come on a nature field trip and see a Slow Loris and other wild animals in their natural habitat. This is for kids and adults. You can see civets, owls, birds of prey, frogs, lizards, geckos, spiders, and many other insects and animals. Register for your NIGHT FIELD TRIP or Custom Trip now. >