THIS tiny creature is settling into its new home in Purbeck after being rescued from a Beirut pet shop.

Nora, a Bengal slow loris, had been poached in the wild and smuggled into Lebanon to be sold on for $2,000.

However, the creature has now been rescued by Monkey World director Dr Alison Cronin, who worked with representatives from Animals Lebanon to bring it to Dorset.

Dr Cronin said: "The animal has had a traumatic start to life.

"She was illegally stolen from the wild and smuggled into Lebanon to be sold on the underground market.

"Nora was the first endangered animal to be confiscated under the new Animal Protection and Welfare laws in Lebanon, and her case will be moved to the courts for prosecution.

"At a tender three months old when confiscated, tiny Nora weighed just 130g, and should have been nursing from her mother."

The slow loris, a nocturnal primate, is being increasingly hunted from the wild for the pet trade. Demand seems to be on the rise after 'tickling loris' videos were shared widely on social media, Dr Cronin said.

In the videos, the creatures raise their arms about their heads.

Viewers may deem this as cute, but this behaviour is actually a defence mechanism for loris, as they lick toxic secretions that are released from a gland on their arms in preparation to deliver a venomous bite," Dr Cronin said.

"The tickling is actually torture."

Nora will join four adult slow loris, Bu, Bruce, Nicki and Axl, at the rescue centre.

The creature was accompanied by Dr Cronin and carers from Lebanon aboard a British Airways flight.

Thanks to special dispensation from IAG Cargo, the loris was able to travel in the cabin for the duration of the four-and-a-half hour journey.

It cannot be released back into the wild as its country of origin is unknown. However, it will receive any specialist care needed at Monkey World.

Dr Cronin said “Nora is the seventh loris we have brought to the park in the past four years.

"Monkey World exists to assist governments to stop primate smuggling and we are pleased to be able to offer Nora a home with companionship of her own kind and the specialist care that she needs."