A Slow Loris — a rare primate locally known as lajjaboti banor – is now undergoing treatment at Bangladesh Wildlife Service Foundation in Sreemangal upazila under the Moulvibazar district. Rescued with its hands and feet burnt from electric wires, doctors say its condition is critical.

Rezaul Karim Chowdhury, Divisional Forest Officer, told this correspondent, “Slow Loris is critically endangered in Bangladesh and is on verge of extinction.”

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The primate was rescued from Sreemangal’s Puposhpur area on Saturday evening in a vulnerable state, said Swapan Deb Sajal, director of Bangladesh Wildlife Service Foundation. Along with the injuries, it is physicially weak due to not having sufficient food.

Following treatment, the animal will be released to the Lawachhara forest in Moulvibazar, said Swapan.

Jabed Bhuiyan, joint-convener of animal rights organisation ‘Lawachhara Bon O Jibo Boichitro Rokkha Andolon’, said the Slow Loris eats fruits and tree resin. He identified tree-logging as the reason why the animal might have run into danger.

A group of local influentials in the area have been involved in logging various 100-year-old trees of different species, including teak, he said. With its habitat and food source depleting, the Loris may have had to venture into human villages in search of resources.

The Slow Loris’ scientific name is Nycticebus. It eats insects, arthropods, small birds and reptiles, eggs, fruits, gums, nectar, and miscellaneous vegetation. But as its food and habitats are under threat, the species is slowly inching towards extinction, Forest Office sources said.

They weight between three to five kgs, and grow between 7.7 to 9.1 inches. It’s a compact animal with short tails, short, rounded muzzles, round eyes directed forward, and short, dense fur. They are mainly brown, reddish-brown or grey with white lines between their eyes, dark markings around eyes, and a faint dorsal medial stripe in the crown.

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