The ongoing sale of the slow loris as an exotic pet in Japan — almost a decade after international trade of the small primate was banned — has led to a high risk of it being sold illegally, a recent survey has found.

In a report published in the Asian Primates Journal, an Oxford Brookes University research group found "inadequacies in Japan's enforcement of national law," calling for stronger penalties for offenders and tougher legislative regulations in the country.

Japan is known to be the world's largest market for slow lorises, which mainly exist in Southeast Asia. The primate, measuring up to 40 cm in length, can sell for as much as ¥1 million here.