Downtown Abbey actor Peter Egan and The International Animal Rescue teamed up in a new PSA video warning us about the mistreatment of YouTube’s favorite tickling animal — the slow loris.

Peter Egan in ‘Tickling Is Torture’ PSA Video on Slow Loris Abuse

The slow loris is a small nocturnal primate found mostly in Southeast Asia and bordering regions. Slow lorises have round heads, narrow snouts, large expressive eyes and a rare toxic bite. However, if you like to watch cute animal videos on YouTube you may recognize slow lorises from their popular ‘tickle videos.’

The slow loris has been featured in countless YouTube videos with over one million views, and their rise to fame is all due to the adorable reaction the creature has to people tickling their armpits. These ‘tickle videos’ often show a person holding a slow loris while brushing or petting their armpits, as the animal raises its arms high up in the air. Viewers laugh and smile along with the owners of these slow lorises whom capture the creatures on video. Unfortunately, International Animal Rescue does not find these videos cute or funny.

International Animal Rescue posted a new PSA video on YouTube June 9, campaigning against the loris species’ YouTube popularity and people’s interest in the animals as an exotic pet.

Egan is seen speaking in the video about the reality of the slow loris ‘tickle’ sensation, as various videos of the slow loris being played with is shown. “But would you think it was cute if you knew that tickling a slow loris is actually torturing it?” he asked. Egan also pointed out that slow lorises are suffering as a result of the pet trade inspired by the ‘tickle videos.’

The PSA takes a melancholy turn as scenes are shown of the horrific cages and conditions the slow lorises are kept in before their traded, and the fact that they have their teeth removed – often without anesthesia – before being sold as pets.

Egan’s heartfelt warnings and the heartbreaking visuals make you want to help save these creatures.

The website TicklingIsTorture.org, urges visitors to pledge to protect the species by not sharing or liking videos showing slow lorises being kept as pets.

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