Can You Own A Pet Bush Baby? Is it legal?

Bush Babies are undoubtedly adorable; therefore, their viral pictures and videos are making individuals go crazy. All over the internet, these giant saucer-like eyes creatures have infused another level of fascination, especially among exotic pet enthusiasts. But, does a Bush Baby really worthy of domestication?

Well, No. Bush Babies aren’t the best pets you can own. Despite how they appear on the internet or in person in Zoos, they are not meant for domestication. Things are not always as they may seem, especially in the exotic animal kingdom. While some exotics prove delightful and safe pets, others can prove the exact opposite or even more dangerous. Therefore, animals like Bush Babies and most primates are even illegal as pets in significant parts of the world. Come let’s shed some more informative light on it.

Bush Baby: Where do they come from?

A Bush Baby is a small nocturnal tree-dwelling primate. Also known as Nagapies or Galagos, Bush Babies are native to continental, sub-Sahara Africa.

The name Bush Baby doesn’t literally signify its meaning; instead, it came from either the animal’s appearance or cry. Although their presence is limited to Africa, what makes Bush Babies popular across the globe are their big saucer-like eyes placed on a tiny body.

There are about 20 known species of these primitives, though scientists claim that multiple is still unknown. Before 1980 only six species were recognized, but gradually a lot are coming under recognization.

Bush Baby Species Taxonomy

NameBush Baby
Other NamesNagapies, Galagos,
Night Monkeys
Scientific NameGalagidae
KingdomAnimalia
PhylumChordata
ClassMammalia
Order and SuborderPrimates and Strepsirrhini
Family and SuperfamilyGalagidae and Lorisoidea
Conservation StatusNot extinct
SizeWeight: 90 to 300 gms
Height (Length): 130 mm
LifespanUp to 10 years in captivity
Up to 16 years in the wild

Do Bush Babies Make Good Pets?

For several reasons, Bush Babies, unfortunately, do not make very good pets. For an average person, it can prove extremely challenging to even house a Bush Baby.

Further, one can’t reasonably care for these primitives, which will eventually affect their physical health and mental temperament.

Only experienced handlers at zoos and wildlife reserves can provide a good life to Bush Babies in captivity. 

Are Bush Babies legal in the U.S.?

Is It Legal To Keep a Bush Baby as a Pet? Bush Babies don’t do particularly well in captivity, and thus they are illegal as pets in most Countries and States. The majority of U.S. States, including California, New York, Wisconsin, and others, have strict restrictions on keeping these primitives as pets. 

Whereas States including North Carolina, Florida, and Nevada allow primitives like Bush Babies as pets. However, the laws may be different in every city, county, town, and municipality; therefore, research well.

Also, it is more likely that possessing a Bush Baby may require licensing or a special permit. The process can be time-consuming, costly, and can include extensive background checking.

Can You Own A Pet Bush Baby

Bush Babies- You have to meet their needs

Bush Baby Housing Needs

Though Bush Babies are less common as pets, Breeders have real-time input on how to house these primitives. Given their size, people might confuse them for a small cage, limited space animal. However, on the contrary, bigger is better when it comes to housing a Bush Baby or other similar primitives.

Breeders commonly use a large macaw cage adorned with types of branches, ropes, climbing apparatus, platforms, and other features. Or, the better idea is to go with huge walk-in aviary-type enclosures, which are preferably kept outdoor.

However, the cage must have only a strong outdoor lock since Bush Babies can figure out operating an indoor lock and might escape. 

Bush Baby Temperature and Humidity Needs

Bush Babies prefer dry bushes and forests to survive. They prefer sunny and dry weather and can handle heat quite efficiently. Though during summer, it is essential to provide them with artificial heat sources, especially in snowy regions.

Bush Baby Dietary Needs

Bush babies are omnivores and their diet in the wild consists of a variety of things. They would love to eat a wide range of food from a mix of fresh fruits, vegetables, nectar, live crickets, cat, mice, and other small animals.

However, their favorite meal is acacia gum that oozes from the trees in their native habitat. Bush Babies love chewing on tree gum and would spend most of the time doing the same.

Bush Babies are nocturnal, and therefore they prefer hunting during the dark hours. They are skilled and agile hunters but what makes them excellent predators is their keen night vision and excellent hearing.

Bush Baby Cleaning Needs

Bushbabies don’t normally require bathing and grooming. Being wild and keeping that instinct alive allows these creatures to lick and clean themselves. It is also tricky and dangerous for humans to handle and clean Bush Babies without getting a few scratches here and there.

For added efforts, it is ideal for adding an aquatic feature to the Bush Baby enclosure. It will help the animal self-cleaning.

However, when it comes to hygiene, being extra attentive to cleaning the Bush Baby enclosure is a must. Consider cleaning their feces and uneaten food every 24 to 48 hours. Sanitizing the cage and accessories once a week will help maintain good health for the animal.

Common Health Problems with Bush Baby

For raising a healthy Bush Baby, it is essential to get them vaccinated for distemper, parvo, and rabies. Besides that, deworming every 3 to 6 months is mandatory.

Bush Babies, though, aren’t very likely to fall ill, but they can easily catch infections.

Note: Finding a Vet who can and is willing to treat a Bush Baby is challenging. An ordinary Vet isn’t the best responsible medical help for such primitives. None other than exotic Vets or Vets who are working for long with Zoos can do justice.

10 Challenges of keeping a Bush Baby as a pet

  1. Bush Babies are pretty difficult to pet which proves a challenge for both pet owners and breeders.
  2. They are likely to catch infections from other animals around.
  3. They have a very unpleasant habit of crying out loudly at night.
  4. Bush Babies urinate on their hands to mark their territories.
  5. Bush Babies can bite pretty hard and can leave humans bleeding and injured.
  6. When in frustration, Bush Babies may likely harm themselves, most probably the ones in captivity.
  7. Bush Babies are difficult and almost impossible to litter train.
  8. Handling, holding, or petting Bush Babies is both difficult and dangerous.
  9. They are excellent escapers and would try to do so whenever they got a chance.
  10. Lastly, Bush Babies are illegal as pets in most places. Besides that, it is very less likely for any property owner, neighbor, or local municipality to allow pet Bush Babies around.

How Much Does a Bush Baby Cost?

Though Bush Babies are less likely on sale, if they would, estimate the cost over $4000+ at least. 

Where to buy a Bush Baby? Where to find a Bush Baby Breeder?

If Bush Babies are legal as pets in your region, you would likely find these animals in Breeding facilities. It is less likely to find the primitives at pet stores. 

List of Bush Baby Breeders in the USA:

Bush Baby Fun Facts for kids

  • A Bush Baby being primitive is closely related to apes, monkeys, and humans.
  • They have fingers and toes just like humans.
  • They are quite exotic and rare.
  • Bush Baby is only adorable with their looks; however, when it comes to behavior, they are challenging creatures.
  • They mark their territory by urinating on their hands.
  • They have very sharp comb-like incisor teeth.
  • A Bushbaby can jump 2.5 meters in just a single leap. These primitives are known for their strong back leg muscles.
  • They have excellent and extraordinary night vision.
  • Their tail is longer than the length of the head and body combined. Bush Babies can balance excellently with their tail.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Bush babies fly?

Bush Babies are ace jumpers, due to which they might appear like flying. However, in reality, these small primitives cannot fly.

Why do bush babies cry?

Bush Babies are known for their loud crying behavior. They do so to demarcate their territory and communicate with others from their family.

Why do bush babies pee on their hands?

Bush Babies pee on their hand so that they can leap from tree to tree and mark their territory.

Are Bush Babies violent? Do Bush Babies attack humans?

Female Bush Babies are known to show high aggression towards each other. Towards humans, they aren’t very violative but can attack if they feel threatened.

Wrapping Up…

Can you have Bush Babies as pets? You can own Bush Babies as pets, given they are legal in your State/ County/ Municipality. However, this doesn’t mean you should necessarily keep them as pets, and neither do we encourage the same.

Bush Babies do not grow well in captivity. The captive domesticated lifestyle can decrease many years from their life. Captivity can also make these primitives aggressive and impact majorly on their health.

Therefore, even if you are highly fascinated by Bush Babies, you better go and watch them in a Zoo. It is more humane to leave the poor animal in the wild than to make them suffer in captivity.