Baboon Recreates Famous Lion King Scene As It Carries Cub
In scenes reminiscent of The Lion King, the male baboon gathered the cub up in his arms and held him aloft before scaling a marula tree with the cub in his grasp.
But Kurt Schultz, the safari guide on Saturday in Kruger National Park, could not enjoy the live re-enactment of the Disney classic, as he feared the cub could be dropped or even 'viciously killed' by the primate.
Fortunately though, the cub was neither dropped nor brutally murdered as the group looked on - quite the opposite in fact.
Kurt said: "It was a strange experience. I was worried the cub would fall because it would not survive that height.
"The baboon was grooming the little lion cub as if it was a baby baboon. The baboon moved from branch to branch grooming and carrying the cub for a long period of time.
"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.
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"In 20 years of guiding southern and east Africa, I have witnessed baboons viciously killing leopard cubs and have heard of baboons killing lion cubs. But I have never seen the care and attention given to a lion cub in this manner."
The rare sighting was of course similar to that in The Lion King, in which Simba is held aloft by Rafiki.
But sadly, baboon-lion relations tend not to go so well in reality, and Kurt reckons the cub is unlikely to survive the abduction.
He said: "This will remain one of my most interesting sightings.
"I don't see a chance of this poor cub surviving. The troop of baboons was large and a lion would not be able to get the young back.
"Nature is cruel at most times and survival of young predator cubs is not easy.
"The lion cub poses a threat to the baboons when it gets older.
"I heard the baboons left the area with the cub, as I had to give other people a chance [to take photos for themselves]."
Featured Image Credit: Caters