Photo Gallery: Top 5 Winners, Losers of the New Animal Trade

Top 5 Winners, Losers of the New Animal Trade
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June 15, 2007—Being this cute can come at a tremendous cost.

The slow loris, a tiny primate native to the forests of southern Asia, is one of the most popular animals in the wildlife trade, particularly in Japan, where people pay as much as U.S.$3,800 to have one as a house pet.

But the loris will soon be priceless—literally—thanks to a new ruling by the UN Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).

The convention, which oversees the sale of 33,000 plant and animal species worldwide, officially banned all international traffic in the slow loris last week, in order to stop what advocates described as gruesome abuses in the illegal sale of the animal.

The small, nocturnal creatures are often trapped in the wild and have all of their teeth pulled in order to be sold as tame or as babies, according to CITES' report. (See a picture of a baby loris.)

Other markets for the loris as food or for use in traditional medicines, combined with heavy logging in Southeast Asia, has left the animal "decimated in large parts of its range," the report said.

The slow loris is just one creature to walk away a winner from this month's CITES meeting, where rulings were handed down affecting animals that appear on menus, in medicines, and in marketplaces worldwide.

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—Photograph ) Anup Shah/Getty Images
 
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