Potto (Perodicticus potto), also called the bush bear, tree bear, or softly-softlys, slow-moving tropical African primate. The potto is a nocturnal tree dweller found in rainforests from Sierra Leone eastward to Uganda.
It has a firm grip and clings tightly to branches, but when necessary, it can also move quickly through the branches with a smooth gliding gait that makes it relatively inconspicuous.
This medium-sized sloth-like nocturnal primate inhabits forest interiors, spending nights foraging upside down from tree branches. It can sometimes be seen at night by shining a spotlight into the canopy.
The potto lives on tree branches in Kibale National Park, Bwindi Impenetrable, Queen Elizabeth National Parks, and most other major rainforests. You will likely see it on guided night nature walks in Kibale Forest.
It is about 35 cm (14 inches) in length, excluding its furry 5–10-cm (2–4-inch) tail. It has large eyes, sturdy limbs, stublike second fingers and toes, and reddish grey dense woolly fur.
A ridge of short, blunt spines formed by the neck vertebrae runs down its nape. This primate’s spines are covered by thin, highly innervated skin. They are believed to be sensitive to the movements of potential predators when the potto tucks its head between its arms in a defensive posture.
The potto inhabits all strata of lowland and montane tropical moist forest, swamp forest, and other lowland forest types. It is more common in secondary and colonising forests and along the margins of these forests.
The pato feeds on fruit, small animals, and insects (especially larvae) at night and curls up to sleep in tree hollows during the day.
Pottos are solitary animals but do display some degree of sociality. The females give birth to one young annually.
The African Potto (Perodicticus potto) has most recently been assessed for The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species in 2008 and is listed as Least Concern for extinction.