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Galagos - African Bush Baby - Prosimian Primate
By: Jason Abels – Assistant Director www.tigerhomes.org Animal Sanctuary

Galagos, commonly referred to as the African Bush Baby, are one of my all time favorite Prosimian Primate, and the Sanctuary cares for a number of them. Murry, Samantha, Zak, Bengie, Floppy, Acacia, and Honey are classified as Galago garnettii and are the second largest of all the various species of Bush Baby or Galago.
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African Bush Baby -  Murry Bush Baby Up Close Murry Front

These guys are totally awesome and we hope to eventually add infrared web cams to the Bush Baby habitats down the road. Murry, is about 10 years old while Honey our youngest is only 13 months. The personality of these small nocturnal primates is so endearing that some Africans actually turn them into a Pet, not that we agree in anyway with that. Some people think they look a lot like Yoda from Star Wars. We will include some Bush Baby Pictures for you to make your own comparisons.

One of the primary reasons the Bush Baby was given its name is due to the sound of one of its many vocalizations. This particular vocalization sounds similar to human child crying in the woods, so the native people coinhabiting with them gave the animals the common name of BushBaby.

Zak and Baby Samantha - Bush Baby Eating Hands Good for Gripping Limbs and Hunting

Like the lemurs, the Bush Baby is also classified as a Prosimian Primate. One main difference between the two is the fact that Bush Babies are primarily nocturnal. In fact, Madagascar is the only place one can find a Prosimian Primate regularly active during the day. This is due to the fact that on the continent of Africa and Asia, the Prosimians had to compete for resources with more advanced primates like monkeys and apes which were active during the day, where Madagascar had no such competition. Another main difference between a Bush Baby and a Lemur is diet. Bush Babies rely much more on animal protein in their diet then lemurs who are 99.9% vegetarian.

Bush Baby  riding  African Sulcata Close up Murry Murry Hunting

Bush Babies are fantastic hunters, and readily hunt and kill snakes, rodents, insects and birds as well as feeding on berries, fruits, flowers and tree gums ect. Nothing makes Murry happier then when a Red Rat Snake wonders into his naturalistic large habitat! In two point three seconds, he jumps down, precision grabs it at the base of the head and proceeds to give it multiple death bites to the head, then consumes the flesh. One thing for sure, is the fact that between their awesome eyes and super sensitive ears, they do not miss a thing. Bush Babies have senses that would make Spiderman jealous! It is said, that a Bush Baby can hear a cricket’s legs walking on dead leaves from over 15 feet above in a tree. That combined with unparallel night vision and lightning quick reflexes make the African Bush Babies formidable predators, especially to insects! One of the “Environmental Enrichment” items we use to stimulate the minds of the Bush Babies in our care is a yellow Bug Light placed just outside their habitats. They love to sit in the trees snagging unsuspecting flying insects right out of the air and into their mouths. I think Honey is the fastest bug grabber. If you guys go to our “Video Gallery” section, and then scroll down to “Discovery Video”, you will be able to see some great Video Clips of Zak snagging a moth from Nigel Marvin featured on Discovery Channels, Nigel’s Wild World.

There is so much I would like to talk about on the Bush Babies subject, but I think I will save that for a future topic in our “Educational Center”. The purpose of this was to make you aware of another remarkable species of animal that the Tiger Homes Animal Sanctuary cares for. David and I are always dreaming of adding more and more web cams to more and more species of wildlife entrusted to our care. In time, we will have cams set up so you can get to know Murry and the rest of the Bush Babies as well as you know and love Loki. I would like to end this introduction to the Sanctuary’s Bush Baby team with a random bit of crazy Bush Baby trivia to make you go, “hum”! (Some scientists actually identify and classify the different species and sub-species of Bush Babies by the shape and structure of the animal’s penis as well as the ossilograms of their vocalizations.) Something to think about ;-).