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Lincoln Park Zoo's Rare New Moholi Bushbaby Crawls Out From Nest

By Paul Biasco | March 7, 2013 4:58pm

LINCOLN PARK — More than a month after being born weighing less than 0.3 ounces, Lincoln Park Zoo's newest creature has ventured out of its nest.

The extremely rare baby Moholi bushbaby was born in mid-January and joins fewer than 20 bushbabies in zoos across the nation, according to the zoo.

The animal has quadrupled in size since its birth and has just recently grown strong enough to come out of the nest.

"This birth is significant, both because the zoo population is so small and because it means our breeding pair here at Lincoln Park Zoo is a good match," said Diane Mulkerin, curator of the Regenstein Small Mammal-Reptile House, in the birth announcement.

Bushbabies do not tag along with mom or dad when they are born, but instead stay in their nests until they are strong enough to join in foraging for food, according to Mulkerin.

The highly acrobatic animals spring around tree branches with ease and have long tails to help them maintain balance.

Staff have not been able to determine the sex of the baby, but said it appears to be in good health and is developing quickly.

The small animals have large ears and eyes to help detect predators and spend most of their days sleeping. The animals are active at night, to help keep them safe from predators such as large birds, snakes and mongooses in the wild in their native region of southern Africa, according to the zoo.

The zoo's Moholi bushbaby family is on exhibit daily at the Regenstein Small Mammal-Reptile House from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.