Saturday, 17 August 2013

Viral Videos May Harm Cute, Threatened Animals

In early 2009, a man in St. Petersburg, Russia, uploaded a video onto YouTube in which his pet pygmy slow loris — a small, threatened Asian primate — gets tickled. The video quickly went viral, garnering millions of views and thousands of comments. But such videos of "cute" exotic species may be fueling the illegal pet trade of the animals, pushing them nearer to extinction, new research suggests.

Researchers analyzed the public's perception of slow lorises (Nycticebus) by perusing more than 12,000 YouTube comments posted over a three-year period in response to the tickling slow loris video. Viewers most frequently commented on how cute they thought the slow loris in the video was, but comments expressing a desire to own one of the animals — or even asking where to get one — came in a close second.

In fact, an average of one in 10 viewers who commented on the video said they wanted a slow loris pet, which suggests a direct link between the animal's online popularity and their illegal trade, researchers say. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

You only need to enter your comment once! Comments will appear once they have been moderated. This is so as to stop the would-be comedian who has been spamming the comments here with inane and often offensive remarks. You know who you are!

Related Posts with Thumbnails