Rare Bengal Slow Loris rescued in Chattogram
By Adnan Mahfuz Tazvir
A Bengal slow loris (nycticebus bengalensis), a critically endangered species of primate locally known as Lajjaboti Banor, was rescued from Fatikchhari in Chattogram is still trapped in a cage.
The forest department has complained that the Chattogram Zoo Authorities are not handing over the animals to the forest. The forest officials think this monkey is at risk.
The zoo authorities complain that the forest department was not following the proper procedure for the transfer.
Two monkeys were rescued in Chattogram in the last two and a half months. One of them was rescued on June 6 from a rubber garden in Henyakor Baganbazar area of Fatikchhari Upazila and the other on April 2 from Akash Manibagan in Purba Sonai village of Dantmara union of the same Upazila.
Later they were brought to Chattogram Zoo through the Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO). There was also another Bengal slow Loris in the zoo
The Bengal slow loris or quiet northern Loris is a strepsirrhine primate and a species of slow Loris native to the Indian subcontinent and Indochina. Its geographic range is more extensive than that of any other slow loris species.
The monkey is small in size and known as Bengal Slow Loris. This monkey, a member of the mammalian Loricidae family, is a protected animal under Schedule 1 of the Wildlife Act of Bangladesh.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) 2020 has enlisted the Bengal Slow Loris (Lajjaboti Banor) as an endangered (red list) species.
Farid Uddin Talukder, Range Officer, Wildlife Management and Nature Conservation Department of Chattogram Division, said at the Prothom Alo, the monkeys need to be released in the deep forest quickly.
The zoo authorities have been contacted more than once directly and by mobile phone requesting to hand over the monkeys. But they are not listening.
According to the Wildlife (Conservation and Security) Act, the endangered animals are not allowed to be trapped in cages. Farid Uddin Talukder said this type of monkey likes to stay away from people. They live in the forest. And, as they are kept in a cage, there is a risk of its death.
In April and May, two Bengal slow Loris monkeys were rescued from Tahirpur in Sunamganj and in front of Srimangal Government College in Moulvibazar. Besides, on May 4, locals rescued a Bengal slow Loris monkey in the Majhirghat forest of Gorjnia in Ramu Upazila of Cox’s Bazar. These monkeys were handed over to the forest department. Later those were released into the forest.
Shahadat Hossain, the curator of the Chittagong Zoo, said the monkeys were brought to the zoo on the instructions of the member secretary of the zoo’s executive committee and the UNO of Hathazari.
It has been very difficult to bring the monkey from Henyako in Fatikchhari by getting a car in the lockdown due to coronavirus pandemic. After treatment, the monkey was found healthy. The previous ones are also good.
The scientific name of the Bengal slow Loris monkey is “Nycticebus bengalensis”. During the day, these nocturnal monkeys hide on the high branches of trees and hang upside down.
They can be seen in the deep hill forests of Sylhet and Chattogram and eat young leaves, insects, and bird eggs. They do not usually come to the locality during the day.
Farid Ahsan, a professor in the zoology department at Chittagong University, said the Bengal slow Loris monkeys are migrating to the locality due to declining forest. It is a good idea to keep them in the zoo immediately after the rescue. But the truth is forest animals should be left in the woods. And the Bengal slow Loris needs to be released into the deep forest.