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 Alexia LaFata

Teen Dies After Getting Electrocuted By Her iPhone In Her Sleep

An 18-year-old teenager died in her sleep when her iPhone 4S electrocuted her while it was charging overnight. The teen’s sister found her dead in her bedroom, covered in burns and lying next to a destroyed iPhone. The unnamed 18-year-old had liver mortis across her hands, neck and leg, and experts from the Forensic Science Association […]

World Alexia LaFata

This Couple’s Road Trip Sign Language Song Is Better Than Any Lip Sync Video

Road trips can be boring. Some people spice them up with a belting sing along. Others, like American Sign Language interpreter Tina Cleveland and fiancé Paul Sirimarco, spice them up with something a little quieter, but a lot more impressive: signing.  During this road trip, the couple performed the “Grease” classic, “You’re the One That I Want,” completely in […]

World Alexia LaFata

Adorable Baby Can’t Stop Giggling While Being Licked By Pit Bull (Video)

Baby Elliott definitely won’t need a bath after this. Or maybe he will. That’s up to your interpretation. Elliott simply can’t stop giggling while getting licked by a pit bull named Gemma. This adorable video comes to us from the Instagram account of Gemma’s owner, who’s trying to raise money for the pup to get TPLO surgery. Gemma’s […]

Also On Elite

Sports

Soccer Star Lionel Messi Will Be Prosecuted For Multi-Million Dollar Tax Evasion Scheme

Lionel Messi, FC Barcelona’s star forward, has bigger problems than his national team’s recent loss to Germany in the World Cup final. A Barcelona court is prosecuting the soccer player for tax evasion. Messi, who reportedly earns over $40 million a season, is one of the highest-paid athletes in the world. His contract ranks behind Floyd Mayweather, Cristiano […]

Humor

Family Deals With Ridiculous Holiday Traffic With Hilarious Singalong Video

When my dad is stuck in traffic, he screams and curses at the car in front of him. When the Holderness family — the people who brought you the infamous Christmas jammies video – is stuck in traffic, they turn their experience into a song and put it on the Internet. The description says that the family […]