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article imageZoo gets the first Simon Bushbaby

By Brandigal (Donna)     May 26, 2007 in Entertainment
American Idol has donated $1,500 to the Milwaukee Zoo to get the rights to call their male bushbaby there "Simon".
Simon Cowell, judge on American Idol, referred to Kenny Swale, also known as Kenneth Briggs on the show, as a bushbaby.
Cowell said "You look a little odd ... you look like one of those creatures that live in the jungle, with those massive eyes ... a bushbaby."
The producers of American Idol wanted to put the joke onto Simon and not Swale, so they had the bushbaby named Simon at the Milwaukee County Zoo.
The producers did ask Swale for permission before doing this.
Swale believes it was done to remind Simon what a real bush baby looks like. He said "Clearly, it does not look like me."
Simon, the bush baby was originally called Boing Boing. He is an 8 year old male that was born at the zoo. He fits in the palm of your hand.
Bushbabies are from central Africa. Currently there are only 8 males and 3 females in captivity in North America.
Simon the bushbaby is not like his namesake. This Simon is sweet and not aggressive. He allows caretakers to go in his cage. He plays with two springhaas that he lives with.
The Zoo gave Simon and Swale permanent passes to the zoo.
The zoo also hopes that Simon the bush baby will bring attention to the zoo. He already has been enjoying the attention from visitors wanting to see him.
Swale seems to be enjoying all the fame he is getting from the show and is not taking it personally what Simon said to him. He seems to be a very forgiving person.
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