Baboon Adopts Lion Cub in the Kruger National Park

Kurt Schultz, owner of Kurt Safari, had a once in a lifetime sighting on Saturday the 1st of Feb 2020 in the Kruger National Park, when he saw a baboon ‘adopt’ a lion cub.

He told Latest Sightings the story:

“I had a meeting at Skukuza, one of the camps, for Kurt Safari on Saturday, so I was in the Kruger for the morning. Before the meeting, I decided to enter the park early to do some photography – a hobby and passion of mine.”

“I drove onto the S21, one of the roads near Skukuza where I came across a troop of baboons being restless. Being early morning this is relatively common, but then I noticed a baboon carrying something and the rest of the troop were interested in that baboon. The baboon was not visible and I spent some time at the sighting as I was told it was possibly a lion cub.”

“Knowing the area, I know there are cubs present in the area lately and being early morning, and close to a granite rock face, I suppose the baboon troop rested during the evening on the rocks. They probably during the early morning moved down to start their day foraging for food came across the hidden Lion cub.”

Baboon adopts lion cub
Image copyrighted to Kurt Safaris

“I first thought it was a female baboon but it was in actuality a young male baboon. The young baboon crossed the road and climbed up a marula tree. I waited for about 30 min before it came into view and was moving from tree to tree, the rest of the troop then moved away and the baboon was grooming and caring for the lion cub as if this was a young baboon.”

Baboon adopts lion cub
Image copyrighted to Kurt Safaris

“I spent about 1 hour at the sighting and decided to leave as I had a meeting at 9 am. It is normal for a troop of baboons to kill young leopard and even lion, however after 20 years of guiding this is the first time I have seen a baboon nurturing and caring for a young predator cub.”

According to a few sources the lion cub did not survive.

Other similar occurrences have happened, like this in the wild.

This huge male lion that was seen hanging out with a baby wildebeest, read the story here.

Baboon adopts lion cub

Another one is this sighting of a leopard that adopted a baby baboon, the young leopard managed to kill a baboon, and only afterwards did the baby emerge from the dead baboon pelt, the leopard forgets her prey and gently carries the baby baboon to safety, where she continues to care for her throughout the night, read the full story here.

Baboon adopts lion cub

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