Stakeout Mbili

So by now you’re probably wondering “Hey Christy – whatever happened with the bushbabies?” Well let me fill you in. I continued to stakeout the bushbabies for a couple more days. I ultimately realized they were living in the dorm itself so I knew when and where they would appear. Unfortunately, I got a little too pushy one night and I think I separated the group. I felt pretty bad about this and avoided going back by the dorm at that time for a week or so. I was afraid I had scared them off, and I had. The next time I went by to watch from a distance just to see if they were still living there, they never appeared. So, they moved. Can’t say I blame them and honestly, they would have moved shortly thereafter anyway as we had summer camp and the dorm was full of 28 kids. Something tells me they would have vacated at that point. So, I felt a little less bad.

But all was not lost! I had a bushbaby friend at my campsite! The first time I saw him/her, I was brushing my teeth and I could see the eye shine in the distance. I watched as it slowly worked its way all the way into the tree right next to me, checked me out for a minute, and then left. There were a few nights when it stayed in the trees near my tent all night. I could hear it calling to another one close by (bushbabies, as cute as they may be perhaps, do not have cute calls – sound a bit like a dying goose….). But this was still pretty cool.

I was thrilled when Laly mentioned that she wouldn’t mind having a semi-tame bushbaby around camp so perhaps I could use some of the good fruit to entice it (she already has a hornbill that visits her daily for a few sunflower seeds). I tried cantelope, orange, watermelon, apple, banana, tomato (admittedly I didn’t really think that offer was going to fly but we were out of fruit at the time), mango, and even a native fruit that grow on a vine near the kitchen (no idea what it is called). Unfortunately, all offerings were refused. It would watch me and after I put the fruit in the tree, it would come right down and check it out, but leave it untouched. Being that these are lesser bushbabies, their natural diet consists mainly of tree gum and invertebrates, only occasionally eating fruit. So, while I didn’t succeed in befriending a bushbaby (probably not necessarily a bad thing since they are sometimes hunted for bushmeat), I did have a really fun time trying!