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Study of Borneo slow loris may aid conservation efforts

Scientists in Malaysia are focusing their studies on the behavior of the Bornean slow loris, a protected species, Agence France-Press reports. The primate, which hunts and functions at night, has a toxic bite and famously large eyes.

After catching a slow loris recently in Borneo's Sabah state, scientists fitted it with a radio collar. They hope to track the animal's movements through the forest to understand its hunting, sleeping and eating habits, the news source reports. Little is known about the animal.

Benoit Goossens, in charge of the research study, feels that understanding the species is a key part of conservation efforts. He said the study should help "raise the awareness in Sabah on the importance of protecting nocturnal primates as much as protecting orangutans, proboscis monkeys, sun bears and elephants."

The loris is a victim of a number of illegal trades. Ornamental and medicinal trades target slow lorises, while the illegal pet trade ends in the deaths of many of these primates, as they are transported without regard for their health or safety.

Borneo hosts a number of endangered species, including Sumatran tigers, rhinos, pygmy elephants and several little-known mammalian species. According to the World Wildlife Fund, there are less than 300 Sumatran rhinos and 1,000 pygmy elements left in Borneo.
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