Not So Cuddly Now: Those Cute Slow Loris Videos May Be Products of Abuse

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Loris YouTube videos may be sparking illegal smuggling.

How do you make those tickling, cocktail-holding loris videos suddenly completely offensive? When you learn that they’re often smuggled and potentially in pain.

A video of a slow loris being tickled has gotten 6.5 million views on YouTube. Another, of a loris holding a cocktail umbrella, has been viewed more than 2 million times. They appear to be innocent recordings of a cute animal with which many people are unfamiliar.

(More on TIME.com: See the top 10 heroic animals)

But in a new report in The Independent in Britain, the YouTube videos may be triggering an increase in the export market for the endangered infant lorises, which are often stolen from their parents in the wild and sold at open-air markets, common in Indonesia. Now, the story says, the trade is expanding in the U.S. and Europe.

And it gets worse. Apparently, lorises’ teeth are often pulled out before they’re sold so they won’t bite humans, but that often causes infection that can trigger their death. And one doctor claims that the loris in the umbrella video suffered a head wound from being transported in a cage. Plus, the light is likely severely hurting the animals, because they’re nocturnal.

It’s a rather sad story all around. In fact, NewsFeed is feeling pretty bad after cooing over them. We’re going back to cat videos now.

(More on TIME.com: See pictures of animals that can think)

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