Tuesday, February 28, 2012

BBC eDocumentary on the Slow Loris

In January 2012 BBC Natural World released an eDocumentary titled Jungle Gremlins of Java in response to the YouTube video The Cutest Slow Loris Ever!!!!! that went viral months earlier. All five loris species are currently listed by the IUNC Red List as "Endangered" or "Vulnerable" and comments left on the youtube video such as "sooooo cute!!! where can I get one?" demonstrate the increasing threat of the illegal trade, along with habitat loss, to all species' extinction.
The hour length documentary features beautiful cinematography and chronicle the adventures of researcher Anna Nekaris, who believes the Slow Loris to be her "spirit animal." Nekaris and BBC have constructed a very informative piece, meant to deter those who want to illegally buy a Slow Loris for a pet. At certain points the exaggerated musical arrangements and the narrator's dramatic portrayal of the Slow Loris as a "Jackle and Hyde" of the forest are a bit laughable. However, on the whole I felt that the video is informative and provocative to potential viewers who know nothing about the ecology, behavior or conservation of Loris populations. The BBC eDocumentary has even inspired a rapping sock monkey Slow Loris video called The Slow Loris--Jungle Poet! The video contains such sensational lyrics as: "It's with regret / that you would get / a loris pet / this trade is illegal / so get a gerbil!" For optimal viewing pleasure, I highly recommend watching all three videos (Cute Slow Loris, Documentary, Rap) in succession!

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