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Watch this rescued gorilla play with a wild bushbaby during a chance encounter

Ape Action Africa says it’s never before seen a wild primate interacting with a rescued animal at the sanctuary.

This is the moment a gorilla is seen tenderly playing with a wild bushbaby which had ended up inside its enclosure at a sanctuary for rescued animals.

Bobo, a Western Lowland gorilla who weighs about 200kg, is seen holding the tiny bushbaby – which weighs around 200g – and letting it move around its body at the Ape Action Africa sanctuary in Cameroon.

The remarkable chance encounter was spotted only because Bobo’s caregiver happened upon the scene during his morning checks.

Gentle giant! Our silverback gorilla Bobo made a surprising new friend this week – a wild bushbaby! Caregivers...

Posted by Ape Action Africa on Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Sharing the video on Facebook, the charity wrote: “Caregivers discovered him cradling the tiny primate during their morning checks, and were amazed to see him handling it with the utmost care – proving that gorillas really are the gentle giants of the forest.

“Bobo’s group-mates were desperately curious, particularly his favourite female Avishag, but he kept them all at a distance, making sure that no one disturbed his new friend.”

Bobo, who was rescued by the charity in 1996 at the age of two and is now 24, is the dominant male in the group based in Cameroon’s Mefou Forest.

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(Ape Action Africa/Alex Benitez)

He fathered Eto’o in 2007 with Avishag and father and son continue to have a strong and playful relationship.

Bushbabies are also primates but are usually nocturnal.

“The bushbaby had probably been living inside the gorilla’s enclosure, which is covered in trees or just outside the fenceline, as the area surrounding it is forest,” a spokesperson for Ape Action Africa told Press Association.

“The bushbaby showed no fear of Bobo – moving around his body and spending time hopping around in an open grassy area, before choosing to return to Bobo.

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(Ape Action Africa/Alex Benitez)

“Bobo’s group-mates were curious about the bushbaby and hoped that he might share it with them, but Bobo kept the bushbaby to himself.

“Bushbabies are usually nocturnal so it is very rare to see one during the day. We have never witnessed a wild primate interacting with a rescued one at Mefou Sanctuary.”

Bobo spent nearly two hours with the bushbaby, then returned it to a set of trees within his enclosure, and the bushbaby disappeared from view.

To find out more about Ape Action Africa and to support its work, visit the website.

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