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

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 Sean Levinson

The Flyer About Jews Needing To Register In East Ukraine Is Thankfully Fake

Western intervention in Ukraine seemed like a distinct possibility yesterday when it was reported that the Jewish community in the eastern city of Donetsk, currently occupied by pro-Russian militants, was given leaflets saying that they would be deported if they did not register with what is calling itself the city’s temporary government. But according to […]

World Sean Levinson

The Underwater Search For MH370 Could Cost A Quarter Billion Dollars

An underwater vehicle made by a private American company is currently searching for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. It has come up with nothing after four missions covering nearly 50 square miles of sea. If the US continues employing private companies to search for the plane, it could cost a quarter of a billion dollars. […]

World Ashley Fern

Preschool Girl Finds A Xanax Pill Inside One Of Her Easter Eggs

Roseville, Michigan, sounds like the most bizarre place in the world as a preschooler brought home a plastic egg that had Alprazolam (the generic brand for Xanax) inside. Maybe it was a gift for the parent since this occurred during an after school activity at Huron Park Elementary where parents and children came together to […]

Also On Elite

Humor

Watch An Adorable French Bulldog Puppy Argue Over Going To Sleep

I don’t know what kind of demon magic the woman in this video possesses, but this is less of an “argument” and more of a hypnosis. It’s like a dog whisperer on anabolic steroids. That poor little guy never had a chance. Sure, that duck imitation it calls “barking” might have sounded like resistance, but […]

Success

If Your Favorite Rappers Were Famous Tech Companies

Rappers and tech companies have quite a bit in common. They’re hip, cool and creative. When they’re first starting out, they dream about signing deals — VC deals and record deals. They also manage to accumulate a lot of hype. Some companies and rappers live up to the hype, while others never get close. I’m […]

Women

The Dress To End All Dresses Turns See-Through When It Knows You’re Turned On

Talk about revealing too much too fast. Thanks to the INTIMACY 2.0 project working out of China and the Netherlands, tech gurus (who might only be a little out of touch with what women need when they’re actually turned on) have designed a haute couture gown that becomes see-through when the wearer is aroused. Using […]