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Bush Babies in Brooklyn? Say what?

February 21, 2019, Author: renate

Who would have thought that bush babies, also known as nagapies or Galagos, roam the streets of Brooklyn?

Many might think it’s hearsay, but too many residents have heard them and some claim to have seen them – bush babies roaming the Jacaranda-lined streets of Brooklyn. There is a mutual agreement among residents in Brooklyn, a neighbourhood known for its charming residences and embassies, that at night there are bush babies that come out to play. Not many residents have evidence to prove it, but these nocturnal creatures’ squeaking cries can often be heard while sitting outside in the early hours of the evening.   

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Anne Crafford, who has been living in Brooklyn for quite some time, says that they have visited her garden often between 2014 and 2018. She says they stopped coming after the bats started eating the fruit she put out and she wonders if that is the reason why they don’t see the nagapies anymore. According to her, they were quite fond of the grapevine they have in the garden and after reading up on what they eat, she started putting out fruit on the birdfeeder. In summer the whole bush baby family would pitch for dinner.  

Native to continental Africa, it’s not too surprising that they are found in the area, but it is still strange that they prefer a residential area, rather than the wild. Then again, Brooklyn is one of the most tree rich suburbs in Pretoria and with that comes a variety of insects which, in addition to fruit, bush babies feed on. The Jacaranda trees also boast the perfect resting and breeding sites, with hollowed out trunks and tree holes that offer protection. One can’t help but wonder if it’s the same type of bush baby than those residing in the leafy suburb of Craigavon in Johannesburg. According to monkeyland.co.za the Lesser bush babies are one of the reasons Craigavon’s tree layout has been carefully considered. The area’s residents have even taken it upon themselves to make the suburb a safe environment for these primates. According to The Endangered Wildlife Trust (www.ewt.org.za), there have been sightings of the Southern Lesser Galago in the Jacaranda City: “In Pretoria and environs there have been several reports of groups living close to human dwellings, and even sightings in the Acacia thornveld that surrounds the Union Buildings.”   

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Interesting facts about bush babies:  

  • They live in moist areas with short grass. Fire is their biggest threat because they are incapable of moving over large distances despite their impeccable jumping skills.  

  • Bush babies are preyed upon by owls, snakes, servals, African Wild Cats and genets. (Interestingly enough, a genet has been spotted in Evert Kleinhans, one of the Brooklyn residents’ gardens before).  

  • Bush babies lick dew and rainwater from cracks and crevices.  

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