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Baboon Steals and “Grooms” Lion Cub In Kruger National Park, South Africa

Rare footage alert 🚨. A baboon makes off with a lion cub and was ” grooming and caring for the lion cub as if it was a young baboon.”

Readers beware, this is no real-life Lion King.

The remarkable scene played out in front of Kurt Schultz, director of tour operator Kurt Safari, while out pursuing his photography hobby in the park one morning.

Coming across a troop of “restless baboons”, apparently a common occurrence at that time of day, Schultz noticed one had the attention of the rest of the troop and appeared to be carrying something.

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.”

Fortunately, Schultz had the presence of mind to capture the ordeal on camera.

Male baboons do a lot of grooming but the care given to this lion cub was the same care given by a female baboon to one of her own young.”

Schultz said to IFL.

Unfortunately, it is very unlikely that the lion cub survived, and in fact, Schultz went on to confirm this in a follow-up post on social media.

No lion cub of this young age could survive without milk for this period of time. Nature is sometimes cruel and we as guides and Park rangers would not intervene, as nature needs to take its course, regardless of the outcome or how we as nature lovers might feel..”

Kurt Safari Company on Facebook.

As distressing as the encounter may seem, it allows us a glimpse into wild animal behaviour of a kind very rarely recorded.