Ape Action Africa, a non-profit dedicated to the conservation of endangered gorillas, chimpanzees, and monkeys, was founded in 1996, but their ape inhabitants are still finding new ways to surprise these experienced caregivers. Recently, Bobo, a Western Lowland Gorilla that was rescued by the organization in the same 1996, made a new friend, and their relationship is probably the most unusual you could imagine.
“On his morning checks, our gorilla caregiver discovered Bobo cradling a young, wild bush baby,” Ape Action Africa spokeswoman Elissa O’Sullivan told GIGGAG. “The bush baby showed no fear of Bobo, moving around his body and spending time hopping around in an open grassy area, before choosing to return to Bobo.”
You see, Bobo is the dominant male of his group, which includes 3 females and 3 males. Younger males Kibu and Nkamum have challenged Bobo for his position, but were never successful and no longer attempt to take control. Now, however, it is clear that the giant has a gentle side too.
“Bush babies are usually nocturnal, so it is very rare to see one during the day. We have never witnessed a wild primate interacting with a rescued one at Mefou Sanctuary.”
Even Bobo’s gang was interested in what was happening. “Bobo’s group-mates were curious about the bush baby and hoped that he might share it with them, but Bobo kept the bush baby to himself.” All in all, they spent at least two hours together before Bobo returned his new friend to a set of trees within his enclosure, and the bush baby disappeared from view.
With more than 300 primates in its care, Ape Action Africa is now one of the largest conservation projects of its kind in Africa. Many of the animals find themselves at the sanctuary as orphans, due mainly to the illegal bushmeat and pet trades. Both threats have grown in recent years as a result of deforestation, and international demand for exotic meat and live animals as pets and zoo exhibits. To learn more about their fight and donate to the cause, click here.
Image credits: Apes Like Us/Gerry Ellis