So a pair of really popular YouTube videos appear to show an adorable little primate known as the Loris cavorting with humans and living the life of a happy pet. But a leading expert on the Loris says we’re watching cruelty in action.

Youtube has the videos that are incredibly popular, the most recent gaining over 2 million views in one week. In one of them, which goes under the name “Slow Loris Loves Being Tickled,” the animal (which is actually a pygmy Loris) has its arms stretched up high as it lies on its back and a human tickles it. In the other video, a Loris tries to get and hold on to a cocktail umbrella while a chuckling human takes the umbrella away. The animal has big eyes, seems fluffy, and it all seems adorable.

However, an article that interviewed a Loris expert, one Dr. Anna Nekaris of Oxford Brookes University, she says what’s going on here is far from cute. She says that the naturally nocturnal animals are shown under bright light which is why they are loosing fur under their arms. They are overweight and normally do not get that chubby. Also, the reason the arms are raised in the first video is because they are frightened and it is their natural defense mechanism to freeze like that under extreme fear.

The second Loris, the one with the umbrella, is in a desperate situation as well, according to Dr. Nekaris. She says, [pullquote]”It’s showing every possible sign of stress.[/pullquote] It curls up into a ball, ears are folded, mouth turned down at the corners, and its eyes are shut due to bright lights. As it grabs for umbrella, what it’s doing is that Lorises in the wild always want to hold onto a branch for safety. The umbrella is taken away over and over causing much stress.”

The Loris population is in danger of becoming extinct. They have been smuggled out of Southeast Asia for many years now because of their timid behavior and ability to stuff them into a suitcase. The animals in this video appear to have no teeth which would otherwise be visible. Before being smuggled their teeth are pulled because they are actually the only venomous primate known to man. A bite from a Loris can kill a child and send an adult into anaphylactic shock so in order to domesticate them as pets, they are inhumanely made toothless.

When the Dr. Nekaris contacted Youtube about pulling the video so others wouldn’t get the bad idea of smuggling a Loris, they had this to say.

“All videos uploaded to YouTube must comply with our Community Guidelines. Those guidelines prohibit, among other things, shocking or graphic content, or content intended to encourage dangerous, illegal activities that have an inherent risk of serious physical harm or death. We also have policies against animal abuse. We review all videos flagged by our users quickly, and remove those that we find violate our policies.”

Please Read the comments on the Youtube videos. They are pretty interesting.. I feel that no matter what, with the exception of domesticated house pets,  taking an animal from their natural habitat is wrong. Unless the are endangered.  The article and what Dr. Nekaris has said may be true, but I read a lot of expert opinions on this story and they have all said that the animals are in no danger. If that’s true, then Somebody get The Chronic Mansion one of these adorable Pygmy Loris pets..!