SLOW LORIS : JUNGLE GREMLINS OF JAVA
BBC Natural World & Icon Films
I was assisting DoP Robin Cox for this shoot with Icon films. It was my first BBC Natural World to work on and it was an incredible experience travelling to the forests of Java, but also eye opening as straight away we arrived at the international animal rescue, primate rehabilitation centre in Bogor and it was full with rescued slow lorises. A very sad sight, despite laws to protect the slow loris, many are still being sold as pets and in conditions of unspeakable cruelty. To make them safer to handle, the traders first cut out their teeth, leaving the animals vulnerable to infection.
We were filming with primatologist, Dr Anna Nekaris, as she tried to discover the true purpose of the animal’s mysterious toxin. The Slow Loris exudes the dark fluid from a gland above its elbow which is thought to become toxic when mixed with its saliva. Anna believes the toxin is a home-made pesticide to keep Loris's clean of parasites and might also have a role in warding off potential predators.
It was wonderful to watch staff at the loris rescue centre working so hard to rehabilitate loris with the hope to release some of them back to wild. We trekked into the jungle to track down a recently released slow loris in the wild so check on it health and were delighted to see it was thriving. As well we worked with locals that had once been loris poachers but were now working as their protectors.
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