Nature Lover Spots Rare Sunda Slow Loris Listed As Critically Endangered In Singapore
Nature enthusiasts will often go to great lengths to spot rare organisms that would otherwise be missed by the uninitiated.
While some would flock to locations to take photos when they get wind of a sighting, few may be willing to make the effort to seek them out.
One nature lover searched for almost one year before being rewarded with the sight of a rare Sunda slow loris in Singapore.
Sunda slow loris spotted high up in a tree
Mr John Lee, the founder of Wildlife Asia (Singapore), told MS News on Wednesday (20 Sep) that he saw the Sunda slow loris perched high up in a tall tree.
Photos he shared showed that he managed to catch the animal looking directly into the camera.
He said the animal was staring at him “with shock”.
“He never expected someone was out looking for him at such a late wee hour,” he added.
Sunda slow loris spotted after 1 year of searching
In fact, Mr Lee saw the Sunda slow loris at the unearthly hour of 3.20am — when most Singaporeans were fast asleep in bed.
The find obviously didn’t come without considerable effort. Besides having to stay up late, he said he had conducted a lot of “tough searching” for the creature.
Over the course of one year, he suffered failed attempts before his efforts finally proved fruitful.
The last time he saw the Sunda slow loris was in October 2022, according to a photo he shared in the Singapore Wildlife Sightings Facebook group. At the time, he saw it at around 2am.
Sunda slow loris is critically endangered
Mr Lee pointed out that the Sunda slow loris is listed as “critically endangered” in the Singapore Red Data Book.
The publication, published by the Nature Society (Singapore), details the endangered plants and animals in Singapore.
The Sunda slow loris, which has the scientific name Nycticebus coucang, is the only venomous primate in Singapore, according to the National Parks Board (NParks).
It can be identified by its round head with a very short muzzle and large, forward-facing eyes with a dark-coloured ring around each eye.
Its fur, which is soft and thick, has a dark stripe down its back that distinguishes it from other species of slow loris.
As the animal is nocturnal, it sleeps by rolling into a ball in the daytime. This is why Mr Lee had to search for it at night.
Nature lover didn’t share exact location
Unfortunately, the Sunda slow loris’ population is decreasing across the world due to habitat loss and illegal pet trade.
That’s why the primate is so rare, and probably why Mr Lee didn’t share its exact location.
Revealing its location to the public would possibly cause many people to rush there in hopes of catching sight of it.
This would disturb the animal and possibly bring harm to it.
A long-awaited reunion
Mr Lee’s reunion with the Sunda slow loris was a long time coming, but thankfully it eventually happened.
Kudos to the nature enthusiast for persisting in his year-long search and sharing his photos with us.
If you come across it on your hikes, do remember to keep its location under wraps after snapping your photos.
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Featured image courtesy of John Lee.
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