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ROBERT BATEMAN
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BIOGRAPHY
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Robert Bateman Bushbaby and Beetle

" BUSHBABY AND BEETLE "
Robert Bateman

950 s/n Paper
14.75" x 11"
$195


“ For two years I taught high school geography in southeast Nigeria. It was a remarkable
experience not only because of the high scholastic demands of the students and the
rich and complex West African culture, but also because of the natural environment
of the tropical rainforest. Since I was a boy I had been reading the entertaining
animal collecting stories of Gerald Durrell. Perhaps my favourite was the Bafut
Beagles, which took place in the Cameroons.

“We lived in the same habitat about a day's drive from Bafut. As soon as I was
established and had got my bearings of the local area, I sent word out to the nearby
villages that I would pay money for small wildlife. Most of these went to the collection
of the Carleton University Museum but some went to the Bronx Zoo Small Animal
House. The most spectacular of these were the bush babies.

“There are a number of species of bush baby (6 genera, 16 species). Ours was the
seldom seen Demidov's galago. If we humans are at the ‘top’ of the primate family
tree then lemurs are at the evolutionary ‘bottom’. Demidov's galago is the smallest
member of ‘our’ family. A full grown adult would nicely fill a teacup. We had five
of them and although they lived in cages we would take them out one at a time to
play around the room and around us. They would scamper over our heads and poke
their fingers in our ears, which resulted in a sticky feeling. Afterwards I learned
that, being nocturnal, they would find their way back to their nest in the forest
canopy by urinating on their hands and feet on their way out, and that is why
they were sticky. I have shown this one eyeing a large tropical beetle which
it may or may not succeed in catching.”
Robert Bateman

 

1975 - 24" x 18" - acrylic - Bushbaby and Beetle - Robert Bateman

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