You know that old saying "opposites attract"? Well, it couldn't be more true in the case of Bobo the gorilla and his new friend, an itsy bitsy, teenie weenie bush baby. (Bush babies are small nocturnal primates native to Africa.) When caregivers spotted the unlikely pair during their morning rounds in August of this year, they were stunned by how delicately Bobo handled the mini bush baby — as were we!
Bobo, who is a western lowland gorilla in his early 20s, lives at the Mefou Primate Sanctuary in Cameroon, which is run by Ape Action Africa (AAA), a non-profit conservation group. Though the overall western lowland gorilla population far outnumbers some of their relatives, this group is still considered critically endangered. Poaching and disease have wiped out nearly 60 percent of the western lowland gorilla population during the last 20 to 25 years. Bobo himself is an orphan whose parents were killed for their meat.
As a result, Bobo will live at the primate sanctuary until he can eventually be released back to the wild. But until that happens, the 440-pound gorilla is entertaining himself with the local wildlife. When the seven-ounce bush baby stumbled into the gorilla's area and made its way to Bobo's outstretched hand, the other gorillas were instantly curious — but Bobo held them all back, refusing to let them hold or touch the bush baby. Eventually, Bobo returned his friend to some nearby trees.
Bush babies are typically nocturnal creatures, so this meeting of primates was even more unusual. Sadly, the sanctuary said they aren't aware of the two reuniting for a second time — but we have our fingers crossed! You can watch the fearless bush baby and his curious new buddy in the sanctuary's video below.
Bobo & the bushbaby
Gentle giant! Our silverback gorilla Bobo made a surprising new friend this week – a wild bushbaby! Caregivers discovered him cradling the tiny primate during their morning checks, and were amazed to see him handling it with the utmost care – proving that gorillas really are the gentle giants of the forest. Bobo’s group-mates were desperately curious, particularly his favourite female Avishag, but he kept them all at a distance, making sure that no one disturbed his new friend. Bushbabies are usually nocturnal so it is very rare to see one, and even rarer to witness this kind of interaction. The little bushbaby was happy to play in Bobo's arms, hopping off to explore the grass nearby, before returning to Bobo’s hand. When the game was over, Bobo walked purposefully off on two legs to deliver his friend safely back into the trees ☮️💗Posted by Ape Action Africa on Tuesday, August 21, 2018