Local ecological knowledge (LEK) increases understanding of certain species and the threats they face, especially little-studied taxa for which data on distribution and conservation are often lacking. We conducted 111 semi-structured interviews in Sarawak, Malaysia, to collect local knowledge about the behavior and distribution of the Philippine slow loris ( Nycticebus menagensis) from two ethnic groups, the Iban and the Penan. Our study revealed that male Penan respondents, generally hunters, who frequently go into the forest were better at identifying animals from pictures. Overall, the Penan have a more detailed knowledge of slow loris behaviors, habitat, and distribution than the Iban. The two ethnic groups have different attitudes towards slow loris as the Penan hunt, eat, or keep them as pets while the Iban consider them sacred and signifiers of good luck. We advocate the use of LEK for providing complementary information to scientific methods in the study of cryptic animals.