|Figure 1. This subadult slow loris bit the victim’s finger intensely resulting in a severe wound. |
(Panel A) Subadult Nycticebus kayan before the victim handled it – already a large drop of saliva can be seen protruding from the animal’s mouth. (Panel B) The bite site 12 days after the bite.
(Photos by G. Madani) DOI: 10.1186/1678-9199-20-43
Asian slow lorises (Nycticebus spp.) are one of few known venomous mammals, yet until now only one published case report has documented the impact of their venomous bite on humans. We describe the reaction of a patient to the bite of a subadult Nycticebus kayan, which occurred in the Mulu District of Sarawak in 2012.
Within minutes of the bite, the patient experienced paraesthesia in the right side of the jaw, ear and right foot. By 40 minutes, swelling of the face was pronounced. The patient was admitted to Mulu National Park Health Clinic/Klinik Kesihatan Taman Mulu Tarikh, at which time he was experiencing: swollen mouth, chest pain, mild abdominal pain, nausea, numbness of the lips and mouth, shortness of breath, weakness, agitation and the sensation of pressure in the ears due to swelling. The blood pressure was 110/76, the heart ratio was 116 and oxygen saturation was 96%. The patient was treated intramuscularly with adrenaline (0.5 mL), followed by intravenous injection of hydrocortisone (400 mg) and then intravenous fluid therapy of normal saline (500 mg). By 8 h10 the next day, the patient’s condition had significantly improved with no nausea, and with blood pressure and pulse rate stable.
A handful of anecdotes further support the real danger that slow loris bites pose to humans. As the illegal pet trade is a major factor in the decline of these threatened species, we hope that by reporting on the danger of handling these animals it may help to reduce their desirability as a pet.
Keywords: Anaphylaxis; Hypersensitivity; Systemic reaction; Malaysia; Adrenaline; Necrosis; Paresthesia; Animal bite; Mammal venom; Hematuria
George Madani and K Anne-Isola Nekaris. 2014. Anaphylactic Shock following the Bite of A Wild Kayan Slow Loris (Nycticebus kayan): Implications for Slow Loris Conservation. Journal of Venomous Animals and Toxins including Tropical Diseases. 20:43 doi: dx.doi.org/10.1186/1678-9199-20-43
When cute turns deadly – the story of a wildlife biologist who was bit by a venomous slow loris, and lived to tell the tale http://news.mongabay.com/2014/1024-dasgupta-slow-loris-bite.html