The exploitation of threatened slow lorises has spread to Turkey. New research shows that the country is the latest to use the tiny primates as tourist props, where people can pose with the animals for a nominal fee. Researchers found dozens of examples of tourists posing with two vulnerable South Asian loris species, despite the fact that no primate has ever been legally imported into Turkey. Lorises, perhaps best known from seemingly adorable YouTube videos, have become increasingly illegally trafficked in recent years. The fragile, nocturnal animals suffer greatly from the practice and rarely survive long in captivity.

John R. Platt

is the editor of The Revelator. An award-winning environmental journalist, his work has appeared in Scientific American, Audubon, Motherboard, and numerous other magazines and publications. His “Extinction Countdown” column has run continuously since 2004 and has covered news and science related to more than 1,000 endangered species. He is a member of the Society of Environmental Journalists and the National Association of Science Writers. John lives on the outskirts of Portland, Ore., where he finds himself surrounded by animals and cartoonists.