I was recently at SanWild doing Karen Trendler’s wildlife rehabilitation course. It was an amazing experience and I learnt more than I have ever learnt in 2 weeks and met some truly amazing people. However, the highlight of it all would have to be meeting little Wheezy- a 2 week old bushbaby who was brought to Karen by a lady whose cat brought him into the house. She did not know where the cat had taken him from and was not sure if the little creature was injured and so she dashed to SanWild for help. This tiny furry thing with enormous eyes was luckily not injured and Karen became his new mother.
Even at the tender age of approximately 2 weeks he had an extensive array of fans, admirers and nannies. Karen explained that as primates get so much love and care and 24 hour a day attention from mothers and other family members, it is important that little primates are well socialised and provided with the opportunity to interact. We were more than happy to oblige! Those of us who were doing the course were able to teach little Wheezy important skills which one can only learn from admirers and from being adored.
We watched this sweet soft creature with his enormous eyes move from only eating strawberry yoghurt to raisins and sultanas and the occasional nibble on a piece of banana. We got to see his first attempts at little hops and leaps- which always resulted in even wider and more amazed eyes when he got it right- apparently much to his surprise every time. When we first met him he would call for food with his raspy voice every few hours, and as the days went on he started to realise that life is just better if you sleep all day and play all night.
Watching his development, even over one short week, was amazing! He was so full of character and his little habits, and how he snuggled up next to his teddy bear to sleep, and how he narrowed his eyes in concentrated preparation for a little hop across your leg.
Bushbabies are nocturnal and are highly social within their family groups. It was an amazing privilege to be able to meet one and to know that he was on his way to being fully rehabilitated and reintroduced into his natural habitat to be a wild and free bushbaby!