Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Traditional remedies threaten loris

Traditional remedies threaten loris

Traditional remedies threaten loris

THE survival of the slow loris in Cambodia is being threatened by the wildlife trade as well as the widespread belief among practitioners of traditional medicine that the small noctural primate has healing powers, according to a new study in the American Journal of Primatology.

“Slow lorises are prized in Cambodia by traditional Khmer medicine practitioners who claim they cure 100 diseases,” according to the study, which notes that it is believed the animal can be used to heal wounds and broken bones as well as assist in the treatment of sexually transmitted diseases and asthma.

It goes on to cite a study on pygmy lorises in Mondulkiri province that found that four out of every 13 tracked by researchers were eventually hunted and killed.

Vincent Nijman, a researcher at the Oxford Wildlife Trade Research Group and a co-author of the study, said Sunday that hunting has forced the animal to the brink of extinction.

“The hunting of the animal is so huge, that they are almost gone, and it’s only to do with hunting,” he said.

Chheang Dany, deputy chief of Forestry Administration’s wildlife protection office, said the animals should be left alone so that they can bolster tourism. “The people should not use the traditional medicines, as the lorises could attract more tourists to Cambodia,” he said.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY THET SAMBATH

MOST VIEWED

  • US think tank warns of China's 'ulterior motives'

    A US think tank on Tuesday warned that spreading Chinese investment in the Indo-Pacific follows a pattern of leveraging geopolitical influence at the expense of the nations receiving investment, including Cambodia. The report looks at a sample of 15 Chinese port development projects, noting that the

  • Defence Ministry denies weapons in smuggling case came from Cambodia

    After a Thai national was arrested last week for allegedly smuggling guns from Cambodia to Thailand, Cambodia's Defence Ministry has claimed the weapons seized during the arrest are not used in Cambodia, despite the fact that both types of rifle seized are commonly found in

  • More than three tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia seized in Mozambique

    A total of 3.5 tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia was seized by authorities in Mozambique late last week, according to the NGO Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). CITES' information was based on a report from the

  • Shipwreck found off coast of Koh Kong

    Royal Cambodian Navy researchers are working to identify a decades-old shipwreck found earlier this month off the coast of Koh Kong province. Divers found the 70-metre-long wreck on April 4 about a mile from Koh Chhlam island, according to Navy officials. Deputy Navy Commander Tea Sokha,