This video seems too amazing to be real, but that’s what the safari operator, who witnessed the incredible scene, also thought. Fortunately, he managed to caught the moment on film, otherwise he doubts anyone would have believed him. But indeed, a baboon that grooms and cares for a lion cub, is hard to believe. Nonetheless, it happened in South Africa’s Kruger park.
It was early in the morning, when Kurt Schultz – driving a safari vehicle full of tourists – stumbled across a group of baboons. A very common sight for South Africa’s biggest game reserve, but shortly, he spotted a very unusual thing. One of the baboons, was carrying a little lion cub, into his arm. The sighting intrigued Schultz, who have never seen anything like this in over 20 years since he’s a safari guide.
“I went to an area very active with lion sightings recently and came upon a troop of baboons really excited and playful this is normal for early mornings,” Schultz explained for Bored Panda. “There was another vehicle at the baboon sighting and it was mentioned there’s possibly a lion cub amongst the baboon troop.”
The incredible sight came out very surprising for Schultz, because the baboons are extremely aggressive, especially with leopard or lion cubs. So, the safari operator initially thought the cub was actually lifeless, but he soon realized he was wrong. Even more, the baboon that was carrying, was acting just like the cub was its own baby.
“The young baboon crossed the road and climbed up a marula tree…then, he was grooming and caring for the lion cub as if this was a young baboon,” Schultz said. “The males do a lot of grooming but the care given… was the same care given by a female to one of her own young. “It happened so quickly. I was quite anxious because I knew no one would be believe me if I didn’t get the footage.”
Although this scene is nothing but sweet and heartwarming, it definitely won’t have a happy ending. It is very likely the cub didn’t survived, because it would have been impossible for the lion pride to take it back. Either way, Schultz believes what happened is “100 percent natural.”
“It was nature at its best,” Schultz said. “It might seem cruel to us, but if this baboon [hunts down] a predator, it knows in two years’ time the roles will be reversed if the lion gets its chance.”