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One fan wrote on Deidre Funk's public Facebook site, “So I'm convincing my mom to buy me a Slow Loris, if she legit lets me have one I'm naming it after you...: ')” with Miss Funk replying, “ahahha that would be amazing, i'd die xD.” Only 2% mentioned conservation and that keeping slow lorises were illegal, all of which were in response to Kaulitz's anti-pet trade post. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0069215.g002. Vladimir Buynevich/FlickrA light gray slow loris. To examine the data we used various non-parametric statistical tests as implemented in SPSS 19.0. When a slow loris is tickled it raises its arms above its head, not because it is enjoying it but in an attempt to defend itself by accessing a venomous gland on its elbow. Plus, with the added tension that is 2020, this year's holiday season is a lot, to put it simply. And, well, let's be honest, is hard to shop for? Where available, we recorded statistics on how often the comment was shared/retweeted or liked/ given thumbs up. e69215. Unfortunately, slow lorises are also slaughtered in Cambodia as a folk-cure for stomach issues, broken bones, and even sexually transmitted diseases. Difficulty in identifying these cryptic nocturnal primates, ease in smuggling them, and known volumes in rescue centres outside their range countries, mean that these numbers are likely drastically under-reported [25], [26]. These records are maintained by and freely available from the UNEP-WCMC [28]. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0069215.t002. We here address three key questions. And if you liked this post, be sure to check out these popular posts: There's no denying the adorability of their saucer-like eyes, cute little faces, and soft fur. The two greatest threats to slow lorises are deforestation and the wildlife trade. Currently most of these sites are only governed by the public and the owners of the sites can reap the financial rewards with a hands-off approach to the potential disastrous results of videos that imperil threatened species such as slow lorises. YouTube has become widely used as a tool by advertisers to sway consumer habits and in the public health industry to impact public lifestyle [29]. On the 9th of February 2012, wired.com removed the ‘Tickling slow loris’ video, after nearly three years. These primates mainly call southeast Asia home, residing in tropical rainforests, semi-evergreen forests, and swampy forests. The group is asking people to sign a pledge promising not to share or like any slow loris videos and to spread awareness about them when possible. So our campaign tells people the truth: slow lorises shouldn’t be kept as pets, treated like playthings and tickled.”. For each userID we downloaded further information about each user with the GData API [30], and this information was added to the database. Advertisers have long-recognised the power of celebrity endorsements to promote their products. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0069215.g001. With all the excitement that comes with Halloween ending and the holiday season around the corner, some people skip over it and go straight to their Christmas playlist. Table 2 includes examples of the various types of comments in each of the 11 labelled categories, and the proportion of each type of comment made. A slow loris visits sixth graders at Frederick Douglass Academy in New York City. When a celebrity was named in a comment or string of comments, we searched other Web 2.0 sources for the original comment made by the celebrity. The International Animal Rescue (IAR) founded the "Tickling Is Torture" campaign to raise awareness about what's happening to the slow loris. The little nocturnal primates sleep all day, party (eat) all night, and have teeny little noses and big round eyes that make them look perpetually surprised. It's definitely not easy, but it's something so many kids are struggling with right now. The slow loris is in danger of extinction and individual people and human activity more broadly are most definitely to blame. Perhaps the sign should say...check out rickygervais.com.” Other commentators were inspired to have the loris as a pet (4%), such as the one who wrote “Haley Williams sent me here. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0069215.t001. After Deidre Funk recorded a video describing how much she liked slow lorises, her fans corroborated her sentiments. We incremented the number at the end of each URL (e.g. Our data show that of more than 2000 viewers who listed their hobbies on YouTube, fewer than 10% had an interest in animals. The species likely got its name from the Dutch word loeris meaning clown. "Clips on YouTube showing pet slow lorises being tickled or handfed have led to a clamour from people all over the world to own one of these shy, nocturnal primates, even though they are completely unsuited to life as a domestic pet," IAR said. A second process is internalisation, whereby followers of the celebrity want to imitate the behaviour of that celebrity [36] [37]. Watch IAR's Tickling Is Torture video below. All eight species of slow lorises are considered “threatened” and the Javan slow loris is one of the 25 most endangered primates worldwide, according to "Tickled to Death: Analysing Public Perceptions of ‘Cute’ Videos of Threatened Species," a 2013 paper available through the Public Library of Science. Permanent warnings embedded in videos of threatened species would allow the public to decide for themselves to agree with videos endorsed by celebrities. No, Is the Subject Area "Advertising" applicable to this article? They are six to ten inches in length and weigh about one pound or less. These individuals were imported to build up or to strengthen zoological collections, and none has been imported for commercial (trade) purposes. Kristen Haddox, Penn State University4. 3. Tragically, cuteness has turned out to be a curse for this poor animal. We analysed 11 categories of comments, with a 12th category of miscellaneous comments. The Slow Loris: Meet The Big-Eyed, Pint-Sized Primate Endangered For Being Cute. It is my hope that with enough initiative, we can one day live in a world where Slow Loris' do not have to be tortured for our enjoyment, but rather a world where we can simply enjoy and appreciate that they exist in their natural habitat, free from negative human interference. A baby slow loris named Pasar at the International Animal Rescue sanctuary in Ciapus, Java. No, Is the Subject Area "Facebook" applicable to this article? https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0069215.g004. (2013) Increasingly their influence on human behaviour has been studied [11],[13],[18],[29],[32]. If you still have not figured out what you want to cook on Thanksgiving, baked macaroni and cheese is something worth considering. The video was titled "The Truth Behind the Slow Loris Pet Trade..." I thought that perhaps this would be one of those videos where we are bombarded with cute videos of the Slow Loris with an ironic narration in the background describing their cuteness as torture. We report all comments as direct quotes as written and spelled by users. If you like the creamy cheesy essence of mac and cheese, look no further, this recipe is for you. Illegally-traded animals routinely have their anterior teeth inhumanely clipped out by vendors, a practice that inhibits release of animals back to the wild and often results in their death [21], [22]. However, the slow loris is not having as much fun as it looks. When we have seen the videos of the Slow Loris, we are often confronted with the image of a small primate raising its arms as it's tickled. Click here to sign the pledge and visit the campaign website. here. To identify users with an interest in animals, we searched the “Hobbies” category for any reference to animals (these included keywords such as animals, animal rights, aquariums, badgers, bees, biology, butterflies, cats, cavies, dogs, dolphins, ecology, elephants, falconry, fennec foxes, ferrets, fish, horses, koalas, nature, penguins, pets, rabbits, reptiles, turtles, veterinary medicine, zoology). We analysed a single ‘tickling slow loris’ video, uploaded by wired.com on the 3rd of June 2009. We thank A. Doughty, J. Fanti, D. Riches-Magnier, S. Gooder, and A. Wilson who assisted at various stages of the conceptualisation and data collection. Indicated is the monthly proportion of commentators that indicate that they wanted a slow loris as pet and those that indicted that it is illegal to keep slow lorises as a pet and/or that slow lorises are globally threatened. So when you tickle that Slow Loris, you are torturing them. Illegal online sellers of these endangered primates remove the loris' teeth before the sale as pets and they often do so with nail clippers or wire cutters — and without anesthesia. For some species, like Iranian Kaiser's spotted newt, rising demands in internet trade of live specimens has seen an increase in their harvesting from the wild, leading to near extinction of the species [10].

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