Sighting of the Quarter - Bushbabies at Pafuri Pool
It was while relaxing and gazing lazily upwards into the thick branches and leaves of a sausage tree that one of the guides discerned movement of a primate kind. Through the leaves she saw large round eyes looking blurrily down at her, long black skeletal fingers curled around branches or grooming in the light brown fur. A long bushy tail draped over the branch identified the sight as that of a thick-tailed bush baby - and her three babies, all with large milky eyes, enormous ears and tiny delicate hands holding on firmly to mom!
The thick-tailed bush baby (Galago crassicaudatus) is the largest of the bush baby family and is considered to be the closest living relative of Africa's earliest primates. A nocturnal species, it is not often seen as it moves only at night to forage for fruit, seeds, flowers, insects and even small birds - its eerie 'crying baby' call echoing through the night air. Two to three young are born during the rainy months in leaf nests built by the female. For the first few weeks of life, the young hold on to their mother, only letting go when she 'parks' them on a branch while foraging.
This was an amazing sighting first of all because it provided a daytime viewing of a nocturnal creature and also because the sighting was so accessible to Pafuri guests, who were able to spend as long as they liked looking up through the leaves at the antics of the unusual primates.
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