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Bush Babies In Kibale Forest

Galagos (Bush Babies) In Kibale National Park

Kibale National Park is one of the best national parks to spot the Galagos while on your African safari in Uganda. A Galago is a lovely big-eyed and bat-like-eared nocturnal primate in the family Galagidae.

This adorable little primate is also called a Bushbaby. It’s further dubbed as a Nagapie which means “a night Monkey” in West German among Afrikaans.

Agreeing with some accounts, the name “Bushbaby” derives probably from its shrill baby-like cry or its adorable appearance.

On your Uganda tour in Kibale, this amazing big saucer-eyed Monkey can be spotted during night forest walks in the Kanyanchu region.

Note: Bushbabies mainly hunt at night. They spend the day sleeping in tree hollows and thick vegetation. However, comes out after sunset around 7-8 pm to feed basically on insects though, fruits are eaten too.

The huge saucer-like eyes and bat-like ears of Bushbabies enable them to hunt at the night. Their eyes enable them to see in the low light while their ears ease tracking of flying insects in the air.

If you would like to discover much about Bushbabies, here we go!

Physical Description Of Galagos- What Does Bush Baby Look Like?

Bushbabies are amazing unmistakable primates while on your safari Uganda tour in Kibale National Park.

They hold soft woolly fur that’s grey, brown, or reddish to yellowish brown. However, the most prominent feature of the Galago is its amazing big saucer-like eyes that give it good night vision.

In addition to other prominent features, Galagos are fast and agile creatures with powerful hind limbs, and a long bushy tail. Their strong hind legs help in performing large leaps.

Bushbabies have bat-like ears which help them to track insects in the dark. Usually, they catch them from the ground or snatch them in the air.

As this lovely monkey roams through the thick scrubs, it folds its subtle ears back to protect them and also while at rest.

Nagapies have nails on most of their digits, except for the second toe of the hind foot, which bears a grooming claw.

The Size Of A Galago

Bushbabies are relatively small amazing nocturnal primates. The average length of this attractive large-eyed monkey is about 130mm. Its bushy long tail length varies between 15-41mm.

The average body weight of the Galago is about 95- 300g.

Jumping Ability Of Galagos

Galagos are ace jumpers, with incredible jumping abilities! According to the study report published by the Royal Society, they can go over 2.55m in the air.

The Galago’s jumping muscles are said to perform 6-9 times better than those of frogs. This is due to the elastic energy stored in the tendons of hind legs, allowing far greater jumps than would otherwise be possible for an animal of their size.

While in flight, Bushbabies fold their arms and legs close to their body.  They bring them out at the last second to grasp a branch.

In a series of leaps, a Galago can cover 10 yards in mere seconds. Their long tail also supports the legs in powering the jumps.

Note that, Galagos can also hop like a kangaroo or just run or walk on four legs.

Social Structure Of Galagos

Galagos are social, arboreal, and nocturnal primates. They spend their day sleeping in thick vegetation, tree branches, hollow trees, and even in old nests of birds.

Bushbabies usually sleep in groups of several individuals. However, carry out their nocturnal activities solitarily. When disturbed in the daytime, it can move though on a slower pace.

Please note that at the night, they’re active and agile, jumping over 3- 5m in a leap. On flat surfaces, Bush babies hop like little Kangaroos. But, they mostly locomote by leaping and climbing through trees.

This amazing-looking monkey uses its urine to moisten its hands and feet. It’s thought that this helps it to hold onto tree branches and also in scent marking. Their distinctive call is described as a chirping note mostly uttered in the morning and evening time.

Life Span Of Bushbabies- What Is The Lifespan Of A Bush Baby?

Generally, Bush babies in the wild have a shorter life span than those in captivity.

In captivity, Galagos can live for over 10 years on average. However, those in the wild usually live for not more than 3- 4 years due to great threats including predators.

Diet Of Bushbabies- What Do Bush Babies Eat?

Bushbabies are primarily omnivores that eat fruits, leaves, insects, and the gum that oozes out of certain tree species. Some larger Galago species sometimes can hunt for small animals, such as frogs, birds, and their eggs.

Please note that these nocturnal and arboreal feeders enjoy most insects, especially in the wet seasons. However, during drought, they feed solely on the gum that flows out of some trees.

Predators Of Bush Babies

The common predators of Bushbabies include Owls, Eagles, Snakes Mongoose, Jackals, Genets, and domestic Dogs and Cats.

Also, some primates have been observed eating Bushbabies e.g. Grey-cheeked Mangabeys and Blue monkeys. There’s even proof that Chimpanzees modify spears from wood to kill and extract Bush babies out of their burrows.

Usually, Galagos can escape from predators by leaping through trees. They can also make alarm calls to alert conspecifics of danger, and some have been seen mobbing smaller predators.

An Amazing Relationship Between Galagos And Humans

There’s an amazing myth between Bushbabies and humans. This incredible folktale is used to scare children to stay indoors at night.

This fable arises from their unusual baby-like cry which evolved into a tale of a beast that can kidnap humans.

Up to now in Africa, children are always calm at the night due to fear of being taken by the massive monster.

For a unique safari in Kibale National Park, you shouldn’t miss undertaking a guided night forest walk. This adventurous experience will enable you to encounter the rare Bushbaby- a nice-looking nocturnal primate with amazing huge eyes and bat-like eyes.

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FAQs About Galagos In Kibale National Park

  1. What Is A Bush Baby?

A Bushbaby can also be called a Galago. It’s a small nice looking nocturnal primate of Africa identified easily by its big eyes and adorable face. Note also its long tail and bat-like ears.

Bush babies are arboreal primates with elongated hind limbs, enabling them to jump from tree to tree with great agility.

Over 20 Bushbaby species have been recorded in different parts of Africa. However, researchers believe that more are yet to be discovered.

  1. How To Spot A Bush Baby?

On your Uganda safari in Kibale National Park, the best way to spot a bushbaby is by undertaking a night forest walk.

During the walk, your ranger will help you to trace the amazing baby-like cry of a Galago in a tree canopy. After, you’ll shine a flashlight at a Bushbaby. Its shining cat-like eyes in the dark will amaze you.

  1. Where Do Bush Babies Live?

Bush babies can be found throughout East Africa as well as in the woodlands and bushlands of sub-Saharan Africa. They normally don’t inhabit areas above altitudes of about 1,980m (6,500ft).

Usually, Galagos live in tree hollows that provide shelter. At times, they can construct nests in the divides of branches. However, these are not as commonly used as natural holes.

Galagos prefer trees with little grass around them, probably as a precaution against wildfires. They can also seek shelter in man-made beehives.

  1. Why A Bushbaby Has Big Eyes?

The big round eyes of Bushbabies aid them while hunting in the low light of the night since they’re nocturnal primates. Note also their bat-like ears that assist them to track their prey in the dark.

Their long tails help them to balance as they jump from tree to tree.

  1. What Is The Best Time To Spot Bushbabies?

Putting in mind that Bushbabies are nocturnal primates, they can be spotted during night-guided forest walks. These big-eyed primates spend the day sleeping in tree hollows and thick vegetation.

In most cases, Nagapies often come out of their hidings around 7-8 pm to feed basically on insects and fruits, etc.

With the help of your ranger guide in Kibale, you’ll trace the baby-like cry of a Bushbaby in a tree canopy.  After, you’ll shine a powerful torch into its eyes and get to see its shining huge cat-like eyes.

  1. Can Bush Babies See In The Day? | Are Bush Babies Nocturnal?

Bush babies are nocturnal primates, spending their day sleeping in thick vegetation and tree hollows thus, hardly seen. However, if disturbed during the day, they may move but, at a very slow pace.

Naturally, Galagos are only active and agile at the night, capable of jumping 3-5m (from tree to tree) in a hunt for their prey.

  1. Do Galagos Make Good Pets? | Can Bush Babies Live In Captivity?

Even though Bushbabies are lovable with their large saucer-like eyes, they don’t make good pets and it’s unlawful to own one in most states.

Please note that Galagos are not easy to tame, they pee on their hands and spread the urine around. Also, they make loud unique baby-like sounds that can even wake the dead!

More so, Bushbabies can catch diseases that are no longer harmful to humans like flu and cough. To them, they can be painful and fatal.

Therefore, a combination of these factors tells us that we should live Bush babies in the wild or only for experienced handlers in zoos.

  1. How Long Do Bushbabies Live In Captivity? | How Many Years Do Bush Babies Live?

In captivity, Bushbabies can live for over 10 years while those living in the wild usually go for about 3-4 years due to predators.

  1. Do Bush Babies Cry? | How Bush Baby Cries?

Although Bushbabies are small in size, they produce loud distinctive piercing cries which are just similar to those of a human baby. Mostly, it’s spotted in the quiet nights of the jungle.

Apart from the baby-like cries, Galagos can also make chuckling, chattering, croaking, and shrill whistles in case of danger.

  1. Why Are Galagos Called Bush Babies?

Galagos are dubbed as Bushbabies due to the human-baby-like weeping cry they make, especially in the quiet night of the forest.

It’s said that Galagos make this amazing babish cry while demarcating their territory and also when communicating with other family members.

  1. Where Do Bush Babies Stay During The Day?

In most cases, Bush babies spend their day sleeping in the thick vegetation, tree branches, hollow trees, and also in the old nests of birds.

Note that, if disturbed, they can come out of their hiding.

  1. Do Bush Babies Live In Trees?

Bush babies are arboreal nocturnal primates that usually spend most of their time feeding in tree canopies. However, on rare occasions, they can be spotted on the ground.

The powerful hind legs of Bushbabies help them to climb trees easily. Their long tail provides them with balance while in the canopy.

  1. Do Bush Babies Live In Groups? | Are Bush Babies Solitary?

Bush babies are social nocturnal primates usually living in small family groups of about 2-7 individuals. Their group often consists of an adult pair with or without young ones.

They spend the day sleeping together mostly in tree hollows, dense vegetation, and old birds’ nests. However, this group splits up at night to forage solitarily.

  1. Are Bush Babies Primates? | What Type Of Animal Is A Bush Baby?

Bushbabies are nocturnal primates also called Nagapies in Afrikaans, which means night Monkeys. They’re small unmistakable little monkeys easily identified by their lovely big saucer-like eyes. Usually, they’re active at night and spend the day sleeping.

During guided nature walks on a Uganda safari in Kibale National Park, Bushbabies can be spotted in the Kanyanchu area.

  1. Are Bush Babies Territorial?

Bush babies are territorial nocturnal primates that mark their territories by urinating on their hands. After, they spread their scent as they leap from tree to tree.

  1. What Are Bush Babies Related To?

Galagos are also known as Bush babies, or Nagapies which means night monkeys in Afrikaans. Galagos are small nocturnal primates in the family Galagidae also called Galagonidae at times.

Bushbabies are considered a sister group of the Lorisidae.

  1. Are Bush Babies Dangerous To Humans? | Are Bush Babies Venomous?

Bush babies are not dangerous to humans. However, they’re confused with an animal called Nycticebus Kayan which is poisonous to humans. A bite from a Nycticebus Kayan can cause a person to go into shock and die.

Please note that however much Bush babies resemble the deadly Nycticebus Kayan in appearance, these two are different creatures.

  1. Is A Bush Baby Endangered?

According to the IUCN, Bush babies are listed as a species of Least Concern though with a decreasing population. However, just like most primates in Africa, Bush babies are being threatened by habitat loss.

Though there’re other natural threats to Bushbabies, man is the main threat through, deforestation, logging, agriculture, etc.

  1. What Are The Species Of Bush Babies?

Over 20 species of Galagos have been spotted in Africa. However, research has it that, they may be over 40 species, including some which are not yet been discovered.

Some of the Bushbaby species include:

  1. Lesser Bushbabies: These are the most popular and the smallest species of Galagos as their name suggests.
  2. Greater Galagos: These are the largest species of Usually, they can be the size of a medium squirrel with thick fur. Their color varies from silvery brown to grey. The underparts are lighter.
  3. Somali Bushbaby: This is spotted in Somalia but also possible in Ethiopia and Kenya.
  4. Senegal Bushbaby: The Senegal Bushbaby is also as common as the Lesser Galago. It dwells in Africa specifically in the south of the Sahara and the nearby islands counting Zanzibar.

Usually, they are spotted in dry woodlands and grassland regions.

  1. Other Bushbaby species include Dusky Bushbaby, Thomas’s Bushbaby, Mohol Bushbaby, Small eared Galagos, Eastern Dwarf Galagos, etc.

When Do Bush Babies Eat?

Bush babies are lovely big-eyed nocturnal primates that spend their day sleeping. However, they always come out of their hiding to feed in the night around 7-8 pm.

Mostly, Bush babies enjoy eating insects but, they can feed on fruits and the gum that oozes out of some trees. Some larger Galago species at times can hunt for small animals like frogs, birds, and their eggs.

  1. Are Galagos Monkeys? | Is A Nagapie A Monkey?

Galagos are adorable big-eyed Monkeys mostly active at night. In Kibale national park Uganda, these saucer-eyed primates are best spotted during a guided night walk.

They’re spotted by tracing their amazing baby-like cry in a tree canopy and then shining a torch light onto it. You’ll be surprised by its extremely big eyes!

  1. Is A Bush Baby A Lemur?

The Galagos, Pottos, and Lorises are close relatives of Lemurs.  They belong to the family known as Lorisidae.

Please note that Lemurs are a type of Prosimian, meaning primates that evolved before monkeys and apes.

On earth, Lemurs are only found in Madagascar and the nearby Comoro Islands. They’re considered the world’s most endangered group of mammals.

  1. What Are Baby Galagos Called?

The newborns of the Galagos are called infants.

Their newborns are born with eyes half-closed and unable to move so far.  Usually, Bush babies give birth in tree hollows that have been abandoned by a bird for some good period.

  1. What Is The Gestation Period Of A Bush Baby? | How Many Babies Can A Bush Baby Have?

The gestation period of Bushbabies is about 2-3 months (110-120 days). Usually, female Galagos give birth in tree hollows for about 1-3 offspring at a single point.

The infants are born with half-closed eyes and are unable to move independently on their own.

Young Bush babies are commonly nursed for about 3-4 months, though they can eat solid food by the end of the first month.

  1. Are Bush Babies Rare?

The Bushbabies or Galagos are among the smallest primates on the African continent. Though fairly common, this big saucer-like-eyed monkey is rarely seen due to its nocturnal behaviors.

Note: Bushbabies are mostly hard than seen, with their piercing baby-like cry in the quiet night of the jungle.

  1. Why Do Bush Babies Have Two Tongues?

Bush babies are said to have two tongues! Well, this sounds wonderful and strange. Their tongue has a second layer of cartilaginous flesh beneath which helps them with grooming.

  1. What Is The Role Of Bush Babies In The Ecosystem?

Since Bush babies are insect predators, they play a vital role probably in controlling the population of their prey.

Furthermore, they can also aid in seed dispersal as they forage on fruits in the canopies of tropical forests.

  1. What Are The Fan Facts About Bush Babies?

The big saucer-like eyes of a Bushbaby allow it to see in the low light of the night.

A Bushbaby’s cry in the night sounds almost the same as that of a crying human baby.

  • Galagos spend the day sleeping in tree hollows or thick vegetation. Usually, get out to feed in the night (around 7-8 pm).
  1. They hold subtle bat-like ears which enable them to track insects in the dark and get them in flight.
  2. Galagos hunt for food during the night. Their excellent night vision and awesome hearing ability help them to track moving insects in the air.
  3. In Africa, over 20 species of Bush babies have been recorded. However, scientists think that they may be over 40 including some which are not yet been discovered.
  • While leaping through the thorny bushes, Galagos usually fold back their ears to protect them.
  • Galagos mark their territories by urinating on their hands. After, they spread their scent as they move around from tree to tree.

Bush babies are named after their wailing baby-like cry in the quiet nights of the jungle.

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