Lady Gaga, American pop star, is in the news again but this time it isn’t for her bizarre wardrobe. The singer/songwriter was bitten by an endangered slow loris on the set of her latest music video, “G.U.Y. (Girl Under You).” What was a slow loris doing in a music video, you ask? Being used as a decorative prop, of course.
But that wasn’t the only animal being used for our entertainment and celebrity artistry. A baby kangaroo and an “exotic” goat were to be used on the music video set as well but the loris was the lucky winner chosen by Lady Gaga and her people to star alongside the outlandish pop star. After the nipping incident, the loris was cut from the video, and the goat was almost used as its replacement until “the State Parks guy said, ‘absolutely not,’” a source told the New York Post.
Founder of the Little Fireface Project, Anna Nekaris, said about the suspected illegally obtained loris, “I am aware of some professional animal handlers either obtaining a slow loris illegally through smuggling or buying a slow loris from a reputed professional breeder. But these animals are so difficult to breed … the likelihood that it was wild-born seems more likely.”
A slow loris’ bite has the potential to be venomous, although it never evolved to kill human beings, according to Nekaris. She said about the bite, “Many people are sensitive to the toxin, and a bite can result inanaphylatic shock and death. Many such cases are anecdotal – that is, a bitten person never felt the need to publish it in a medical journal – but in almost all areas where I have studied slow lorises there are reports that people have died or lops body parts (e.g. a finger or half an arm!) from the bite. At the very least, the wounds take weeks to heal.”
The loris is endangered due to deforestation and is threatened constantly by the illegal pet trade due to misleading information about the species’ “cuteness” in the media. We are glad Lady Gaga is safe but we have to question the performer’s animal cruelty IQ after incidents like this one and the infamous meat dress debacle.
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