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Two Orphans Bond, Baboon Adopts Bushbaby

At the Nairobi Animal Orphanage in Kenya there are two little orphans who were twice-rescued, once from the wild and once from being alone.

A seven-month old yellow baboon has adopted a three-month old Galagos, also known as a bushbaby or nagapies (which means “little night monkeys” in Afrikaans), caring for it as though it were her own.  The baboon carries the bushbaby around in the same way she would with a baby baboon. She doesn’t let the bushbaby stray too far – although, the bushbaby doesn’t seem to be interested in exploring on his own. The two are always together – sharing meals, playing and sleeping with one another.

While stories of interspecies adoption and bonding are unusual, this one is even more so.  The two animals are not considered basically compatible. They are both primates and they share an innate sense of complex social structure to their communities, but their worlds are very different; yellow baboons live on savannas and light forests in the eastern Africa while Galagos are small, nocturnal primates native to continental Africa.

Edward Kariuki, a warden at the Kenyan orphanage, said: “This is not normal, it has not happened here, and I guess it has not happened anywhere else. There are not many instances where we have had a Bushbaby and a yellow baboon kept together, we only happened to do this coincidentally or incidentally by the fact that both of them came around the same time.”

Kariuki believes that the pair found love while sharing meals together. “We have been feeding them at the same time, we feed them mostly on similar feeds, when they are feeding they happened to come up with the special relationship between themselves. So it’s also a discovery to us as well.”


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