Bushbaby S.O.S are a group of volunteers, headed up by Madeleine Reed, who started BBSOS approximately five years ago in response to the ever-increasing decimation of the fauna and flora in the Craigavon area.
We guestimate that there are approximately 5 or 6 families of wild bushbabies left in the Craigavon area and as you will understand, they need all the help they can get – due to their ever shrinking areas of “green” and the loss of indiginous trees in this area, specifically the Acacia Karoo – which is paramount to their survival.
The primary function is to create awareness of not only their existence (most people either don’t know what they are, or don’t believe that they exist, or think that they are pets) but of what members of our community can do to co-exist with these beautiful little creatures. To date they have planted over 700 indiginous trees (mostly grown themselves, some donated) in the Craigavon suburb alone – did you know that bushbabies need to visit up to 500 trees per night for insects/bugs and the sap of the Acacia Karoo?? They have also joined forces with the Klein Jukskei Conservancy and the WCCA ( Witkoppen, Craigavon Community Association ) to give a “louder voice” with them, but still maintain their identity as BBSOS. They have also printed flyers, which are handed out at robots in the area, as well as at any other get togethers.
BBSOS recently identified that education of environmental issues of the next generation of children will be vital and to this end have created Team Bushbaby, which now has over 300 members. The children pay R60.00 to join for the year, and as part of the package they receive a branded t-shirt, a packet of Acacia seeds with instructions on how to germinate and grow the seed (which they take back when the seedling is approx 6 cm high and is then transplanted to a larger pot and eventually planted) and they then receive a branded Bushbaby cap and badge.
Every 2 months they have a Team Bushbaby Saturday, which incorporates a day of fun and education e.g. Speakers from other organizations are invited such as 'Free Me' who gave a talk and demonstration of owls. The primary function of this day is fun, fun, fun and education about not only the plight of the Craigavon bushbabies, but other animals as well.
Crawford School, Craigavon has a family of bushbabies, which reside at the school and as such, they adopted the Bushbaby as their official mascot. They have a core group of staff members who have taken on the job of “looking after” this family, by supplementary feeding every night. They also have bushbaby viewing evenings on a Friday by appointment.