Lion and Baboon. – I was sent this moving story and series of events and thought I would share it. Very moving and I just adore animals.

Photographer Evan Schiller and Lisa Holzwarth were on a game drive in the northern Botswana’s Selinda area when they came across a big troop of baboons charging through the bush.

The baboons were obviously frightened by something and they all scampered up trees, shouting, alarming, and making a big scene. It quickly became clear what the problem was: two large lionesses came out of the tall grass and rushed the baboons into the trees, soon joined by two more lionesses.

“Between the baboons shrieking and the lionesses communicating with deep guttural roars, it was a mad scene,” Lisa says.

But then the real chaos began! One brave baboon descended the dead tree and tried to make a run for it, but got snapped up in the jaws of a lioness.

The lioness grabbed a female baboon on the run. But there was something else there. As the baboon lay dying in the jaws of the lioness, a little baby (less than a month old) slowly disengaged from its mother’s body. Instinct took over and the baby tried to make a go for a tree, but did not have the strength to climb. At this point the lioness noticed the “little guy” and went over to investigate.

Instead of snapping the baby up in a deadly movement, she started to play with the baboon. The lioness was inquisitive and gentle at the same time.

After a while she picked up the baboon softly in her mouth and walked away, then settled down with the baby between her paws. In a strange behavioural twist, the baboon started to try and suckle the lioness. 

The lioness got distracted-this time by two male lions who arrived on the scene. Their advances, however, were met with aggression by the lioness. Was she defending the baby baboon? Or just uninterested in their mating advances? 

Here’s where it gets interesting: Waiting in a nearby tree is a big male baboon, who is obviously intent on saving the baby. The male lions were causing such a ruckus that it presented a short window of opportunity for the brave hero to descend the tree, grab the baby and head back to safety.

The father baboon had to make a move. Holding the baby, in all sorts of contorted positions, he tried numerous times to climb down the tree. He tested the lionesses’ interest with each descent. The heroic male baboon, having just saved the baby from the lions, cradled him in his arms. 

“I was touched by how gently the father baboon held this little baby who was in tough shape after its ordeal." 

Life is fragile and no matter how much we fight to control its outcome, all we can do is live in the moment.”

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Dawn JorgensenDawn Jorgensen
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The Incidental Tourist

The Incidental Tourist is a Personal Travel Blog of a conscious traveller with a deep love for Africa, its people and the environment.

Here I bring you narratives, stories, video and photographs from my travels around the globe, including accounts of gorilla trekking in Uganda, tree planting in Zambia and turtle rescue in Kenya, accommodation and restaurant reviews, as well as details of the conservation efforts that I support.

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