Baboon adopts bush baby

NAIROBI Fri Jun 10, 2011 12:13pm EDT

1 of 4. A seven-months-old yellow baboon (Papio cynocephalus) drinks milk as it plays with a Galagos (L) also known as a bushbaby at the Animal Orphanage in the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) headquarters in Nairobi, June 10, 2011. Defying nature, the Yellow Baboon, rescued in Maralal (northern Kenya) has quickly adopted a Galagos, rescued in Nyeri (central Kenya), after meeting at the orphanage giving it affection and protection as if it were her own offspring. Yellow baboons inhabits savannas and light forests in the eastern Africa while Galagos are small, nocturnal primates native to continental Africa.

Credit: Reuters/Thomas Mukoya

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NAIROBI (Reuters) - Clinging to the under-belly of a baboon, Gakii, a 3-month-old orphaned bush baby has plumped for an unlikely surrogate-mother.

In the grounds of the Nairobi Animal Orphanage, the duo cavort around in each others' arms, drink milk out of the same bowl and poke mischievously at a Reuters television camera.

"This is not normal. It has not happened here and I guess it has not happened anywhere else," said Edward Kariuki, a warden at the animal home in the Kenyan capital.

Kenya, however, has a history of unlikely cases of fostering among orphaned animals.

In 2004, a giant tortoise adopted and became an inseparable friend to a baby hippo washed out to sea off the coast of Kenya in the aftermath of the southeast Asia Tsunami. The pair became an Internet sensation.

Two years earlier, a full-grown lioness baffled experts in the east African country when she adopted a baby oryx -- a kind of antelope normally deemed a tasty morsel by the predators. (Writing by George Obulutsa; Editing by Richard Lough)

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