Saturday, April 11, 2020

J is for Javan slow loris (Folktales of Endangered Species)

Welcome to the 2020 A to Z blogging challenge! This year my theme is Folktales of Endangered Species. I am researching cool traditional stories about rare, fascinating animals - to raise awareness of what we might lose if we don't get our collective shit together. Enjoy!

Species: Javan slow loris (Nycticebus javanicus)

Status: Critically endangered

(Slow) dance like nobody's watching
Folktale from Assam*

According to this story there was once a great nighttime feast in the jungle where all the animals were invited. Among them, the slow loris was the fiend of the dance floor. The animals enjoyed the party so much that they asked the Sun to stay down a little longer, give the more time in the dark to dance. The Sun did stay put, and the animals danced happily in the dark... but eventually the Sun became too curious about what was going on, and peeked over the horizon. The light fell on the slow loris just in the moment when they were doing some very embarrassing solo dance moves.
The slow loris became furious at the Sun for the betrayal. Ever since then these creatures have been nocturnal, avoiding the Sun, and they look perpetually bashful about having been seen while dancing their hearts out.

(In other stories they look perpetually scared because they can see ghosts.)

*Assam is in India, where Bengal slow loris are native, but the story is so cute I couldn't resist including it here. Bengal slow loris are classified as Vulnerable, but just like the Javan slow loris they are greatly threatened by the "traditional medicine" and exotic pet trade.

Sources: The story is referenced here and here, you can find other beliefs here.

How can I help?
Read about conservation efforts here, here, and here.
Also, don't buy or promote lorises as exotic pets.

What other animals do you suspect have secret embarrassing dance moves?

Bengal slow loris (pic from here)


  1. Well, he seems like a little cutie. Well, that story is very pictorial I must say, but I can see why he was a bit embarrassed. Still he's a cute little guy! Stay Healthy. Stay Safe & STAY HOME! Have a great weekend.

  2. Absolutely love this story. Thank you for sharing it.
    Not only are they so cute to look at, but now you tell me they have killer dance moves too?
    This is a serious case of 'love overload' from me to them.

  3. I don't know about embarrassing dancing but Tarsiers certainly look as if they've seen far too much of other party goers 'dance moves'

  4. Awwww, so cute ;)) Big eyes, slow moving, beautiful little animal. Fun tale by the way!
    J is for Jewelry

  5. what a sweet little animal! Thanks! and do have a good weekend!

  6. I can understand the lasting embarrassment! They are such cute animals. So totally inappropriate for pets, and as for "medicine," people need to stop being so ignorant.
    I suspect house cats are up to something in the dark. Whenever I get up in the night I find one of mine up and acting innocent, just sitting in the hall.
    I do not support ANY exotic animals for pets, including the popular (in my state) African hedgehog and Sugar Gliders. My state does not issue any exotic animal permits anymore, but for some reason these two are not considered exotic and are sold in pet stores.

  7. What an adorable little critter. I know that some snakes are great pole dancers ;)

  8. What a fabulous story. Not that I know anything about embarrassing dance moves. :-) It's heartbreaking their appeal as exotic pets is playing a part in the endangerment.

  9. They're so cute, and look like sugar gliders! People need to stop kidnapping exotic animals from the wild and introducing them to the pet trade, particularly if they're endangered.

    I can see the Argentine Tegu, one of my favorite lizards, as having embarrassing dance moves.

  10. The Loris are extremely endangered now. There are people trying to save the species from extinction. This was such a fun story. Loved it.

  11. Oh my, how I love the thought of the loris dancing like a fiend! I'm sorry he got embarrassed, though. He should have owned his moves with pride!
    Black and White (Words and Pictures)

  12. I almost wish you used the ghost story ;-)

    The Old Shelter - Living the Twenties

  13. So cute! Mm, I wonder how the ghost story goes... I'll go look it up now :-)

    An A-Z of Faerie: Dagda

  14. I think I would prefer secret dance moves to seeing ghosts! Chameleons always look like they have a secret to hide, and with their jerky movements you know they've got 'The Robot' in their repertoire ;)
    Tasha 💖
    Virginia's Parlour - The Manor (Adult concepts - nothing explicit in posts)
    Tasha's Thinkings - Vampire Drabbles

  15. Beautiful Zalka. Dance, dance away, no embarrassment. Dance with words. Thank you for the legend and the links preservation sites. WWF donor and volunteer worker since 1995, it is proving more and more difficult to protect endangered species and with the pandemic, funding will drop significantly, as it will for all international or community organisations with people out of jobs and climate change hitting harder and harder. Wishing you an inspiring month of writing. Take care, stay safe. Hoping to read you on Urban Nightmare.