For Kurt Schultz, a Safari guide in the Kruger National park of South Africa was photographing the lions and everything seemed to be normal. But as he was taking pictures, he saw something that reminded him of the famed movie “The Lion King”. A certain baboon was carrying a lion cub and he climbed up a tree.
He was not happy to see this scene because he knew that there could be 2 things happening for the lion cub; one, he would fall down the tree and second, the vicious primates could kill him horribly with his own hands. Kurt Schultz has seen far too many such instances where baboons killed lion cubs.
Schultz said to media, “I was at an area with an active sighting of Lions and came upon a troop of baboons which seemed excited for a usual morning. There was also another vehicle for the baboon sighting and it was later mentioned that this troop of baboons might have a lion cub.”
“After waiting for quite some time, we noticed that one of the baboons that looked to be a female was carrying a lion cub which I first thought was dead. The area was known for having granite hills and large boulders where lions and cheetahs often hid their newborn cubs.”
The female baboon crossed the road and then went on to climb the marula tree. We waited there for half an hour as the baboon moved from one tree to another. As for the rest of the troop of baboons, they moved away and the female baboon started caring and grooming the lion cub as if it was her own newborn baboon.”
“Often males do a lot of grooming to their newborn but this time a female baboon was grooming the lion cub as if it was it’s own.”
Shultz said, “In my 20 years in African forests, I have witnessed many scenes where baboons have viciously killed the cubs of leopards and heard many cases were they killed lion cubs too. As for this scene, it was the first time I had ever seen a baboon taking such care of a lion cub in such an attentive manner.”
Schultz says that he does not see any high chance of the cub making it alive in this situation. The reason was baboons were large and then lions would not be able to take their cub back. The lion cubs are a threat to the baboons as they get older and life for a young predator is not an easy one.
The guide then moved on for allowing other tourists to take a look at the scene and later that lion cub was taken by those primates.