Lioness's special love for antelope
Mon Oct 7,12:52 PM ET
NAIROBI (Reuters) - It's nurture
over nature for a lioness in Kenya which keeps choosing to dote on baby
antelope rather than devour them.
Kamuniak, a lioness in northern
Kenya's Samburu National Park has adopted her fifth new-born oryx this
year, a Kenya Wildlife Service warden told Reuters on Monday.
The oryx is a type of African antelope more likely to be viewed by
lions as lunch than a little one to mother. Kamuniak, whose name means
"the blessed one" in the local Samburu language, has been adopting oryxes
since the start of the year.
On each occasion she has tried to protect the calves from other
predators and even allowed their natural mothers to come and feed them.
But eventually the calves escape with the help of their natural mothers,
are rescued by park wardens or in one case made into a snack by a male
lion while Kamuniak napped.
The wardens think Kamuniak's adoption of the little calf nicknamed
Naisimari ("Taken by Force") took place at the weekend after they saw the
two together on Monday morning.
"She must have adopted her yesterday because they are in harmony,"
Samburu warden Gabriel Lepariyo said.
Naisimari's natural mother has been seen following her offspring and
its unlikely surrogate parent at a distance.
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