Three men were arrested after after attempting to board a flight to Dubai with slender lorises in their underwear.
Security guards at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport were giving a routine pat down to a man traveling from Bangkok to Dubai when they noticed a suspicious bulge in his pants. A quick investigation revealed an unlikely package: A slender loris, according to the BBC report. A second animal was found abandoned in a nearby trash can, CNN reports. Now three men — Hamad Al-Dhaheri, Mohammed Al-Shamsi and Rashid Al-Shamsi — are accused of smuggling the endangered primates, according to The Hindu. Which of the three men had the tree-dwelling animal in his pants is unclear.
The wide-eyed creatures are increasingly popular as pets, as Hemendra Singh, a spokesman for the Central Industrial Security Force, told CNN. As the tiny animals are both nocturnal and carnivorous, the men had wisely stashed them in pouches before tucking them into their briefs for the journey.
The rescued lorises, were in “Okay, but deteriorating” condition, a customs official told the BBC. The primates were transferred to a Delhi-based organization, People For Animals, and are being treated.
The small mammals have become popular due in part to adorable videos such as this one, which features a slow loris:
Both types of lorises are threatened by poachers. Conservationists are concerned that the trade is contributing to the demise of the loris in the wild. As the primates have a toxic bite, the BBC notes that poachers pull out their teeth with pliers, making it impossible for them to return to the wild. The species, which is native to Sri Lanka, is listed as endangered under the Wildlife Protection Act of India.