Monday, 19 July 2010

Extinct primate found

19 July 2010 16:30 GMT

A primate thought to be extinct has been found in Sri Lanka.

The Horton Plains Slender Loris had barely been seen in over 70 years, with only four sightings since 1937, leading scientists to conclude it had died out.

However, the wide-eyed creature was captured on camera by researchers from the Zoological Society of London's (ZSL) edge of existence programme after over 1,000 night time surveys in several Sri Lankan forests.

Three live specimens were also captured so the team could measure them and take other information.

Dr. Craig Turner, a ZSL conservation biologist, said: "We are thrilled to have captured the first ever photographs and prove its continued existence - especially after its disappearing act."

Despite the incredible discovery, it is still estimated that there are only between 100 and 60 of the nocturnal creatures left in the wild, making them one of the rarest species in the world.

Slender Lorises are only found in the tropical forests of southern India and Sri Lanka and grow to a maximum of between 6-10ins long.

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