Viral Videos May Be Adorable, But They’re Putting Cute And Endangered Animals At Risk

Viral Videos May Be Adorable, But They’re Putting Cute And Endangered Animals At Risk
World
Like Us On Facebook
Like Us On Facebook

A recent study on a viral YouTube video suggests that uploading videos of cute animals could actually be endangering them.

In early 2009, Russia’s Dmitry Sergeyev put up a clip of him tickling a pygmy slow loris, an endangered Asian primate. The video quickly attained millions of views of thousands of comments.

After studying the nature of these 12,000+ comments, Anna Nekaris of England’s Oxford Brookes University found that after the cuteness of the animal, viewers most frequently commented on a desire to get one of their own. The primatologist discovered that 1 in 10 comments asked how to obtain a slow loris, which suggests that the online popularity of the animal may have a direct link to its illegal trade.

Though Dmitry says he got his loris from a breeder, most loris’s are illegally snatched up from the wild before they are sold. Nekaris insists that the YouTube user lied about how he got his pet.

“Anyone who says they are breeding them are lying,” Nekaris told Live Science. “We have skilled zoos that can’t even breed them successfully.”

Nekaris said that the more YouTube videos we see featuring adorable but endangered animals like the loris, the more endangered species are being illegally swept up out of their homes and into the arms of traders.

“My initial reaction was one of despair,” she said of her reaction to the sight of the video. “I thought this was the end for the slow loris because it was already dealing with a devastating local pet trade.”

Slow lorises were a rare sight in a person’s home a few years ago. Now, Nekaris says, they are constantly paraded throughout the streets of several Asian countries, mainly Thailand.

She also said that the illegal pet trading of sloths and kinkajouhas has spiked as well, an increase she attributes primarily to YouTube’s exploitation of the animals and celebrities’ advocating for making the exotic species into pets.

Because trading and selling these animals is illegal, Nekaris said that all YouTube videos featuring any species as rare and threatened, like the loris, should be taken down because they are evidence of illegal activity.

“The slow loris video should have been taken down a long time ago because it’s illegal,” Nekaris said. “By not removing the video but removing others, YouTube is telling the public that this illegal, multibillion dollar industry is OK.”

Via Live Science 

Share Tweet
React
Like Us On Facebook
Like Us On Facebook

Sean Levinson

Sean Levinson loves writing almost as much as he loves ranting about politics. Elite Daily lets him do both, and he couldn't be happier now that he's finally putting his years at SUNY New Paltz to good use. When he's not writing, Sean enjoys nature excursions, playing the guitar and the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Look for him on "Real Time with Bill Maher," where he regularly appears in his most precious fantasies.

More In World

World John Haltiwanger

ISIS Makes $3 Million A Day, Bringing In More Than Most Businesses

When ISIS first began, it relied on the assistance of other states in the region for funding: Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar. Now, however, US intelligence officials and other experts contend that ISIS makes $3 million a day from oil revenue, human trafficking, theft and extortion. Simply put, it is a finely tuned financial machine. […]

World Emily Arata

Americans Overwhelmingly Prefer Drinking Red Wine Over White Wine

Bring on the purple lips, wine teeth and grape-colored stains on otherwise clean white shirts. Americans have spoken, and they’re drinking red wine instead of white. A poll conducted by wine retailer CorkGuru shows that 58 percent of the US prefers a merlot to a chardonnay. As consumers get older, they like red wine even […]

Also On Elite

Envision

Photos Of Musicians Before And After They Perform Prove Head-Banging Takes A Toll

Have you ever wondered what musicians look like before and after they perform their draining sets? We came across a handful of interesting photos posted on Reddit. The photographer captured shots of seven different musicians, before and after performing sets with their bands. Let’s just say it’s not very pretty… After screaming at the top of […]

Music

We’re Not Sure Why, But Someone Remixed ‘Sandstorm’ Using Floppy Disk Drives

Here’s a blast from the past. Darude’s “Sandstorm” has become pretty ubiquitous. I’m sure you’ve heard it a thousand times, but I guarantee you’ve never heard it like this before. One genius YouTuber, who goes by MrSolidSnake745, put together a version of “Sandstorm” using eight floppy disk drives to provide the beat. He also added […]