A Lioness Captures A Baby Baboon And Does The LAST Thing You’d Expect

by Julia Lynn Rubin
  • Begin Slideshow

    While the wild can be a brutal place, sometimes animals surprise us all and do some incredibly caring things for one another. In this particular situation, a lioness goes in for the kill…until she sees the an adorable little baby baboon and just can’t bring herself to kill him. It’s quite an unusual predator and prey scenario, and it stunned onlookers. Luckily, someone was around to capture the action. This may not your average Kodak moment, but it’s pretty amazing nonetheless.

    Wildlife photographer Evan Schiller and his wife Lisa Holzwarth adore big cats, and are major big cat conservation advocates. Last spring, the two were photographing the landscape in northern Botswana’s Selinda area when a troop of around 30-40 baboons came running through the bush, capturing the attention of some nearby lionesses.

    Evan and Lisa were forced to watch as one of the lionesses went in to kill a mother baboon with a baby clinging to her side, but were absolutely amazed at what happened next…and photographed the entire incident, of course.

    Thanks to National Geographic for this incredible story!

  • 1 of 13

    The frightened baby baboon abandoned ship and left his mother's side, attempting to climb a nearby tree.

  • 2 of 13

    Evan and Lisa thought they were about to photograph a moment of death...

  • 3 of 13

    ...but instead, the lioness did something amazing: Not only did she not eat the baby baboon, she gently pawed at it and picked it up.

  • 4 of 13

    “The baby was showing signs of physical harm and fatigue from the whole ordeal," Evan told National Geographic.

  • 5 of 13

    "The lioness picked the baby up in her mouth—it was in agony watching the baby’s ordeal—and I kept on turning off the video option on my camera because it was hard to record.”

  • 6 of 13

    As if instinctually, the baby held onto the lioness tight and appeared unafraid as she cradled him between her paws.

  • 7 of 13

    Two male lions soon stalked over to examine the baby baboon, but the lionesses chased him away, perhaps protecting the baby!

  • 8 of 13

    A male baboon, who had been watching from a nearby tree, then saw the opportunity to save the baby from the lion's den, so to speak. He went in and grabbed the baby and took him back to the troop.

  • 9 of 13

    A little while after the baby was rescued, Evan and Lisa saw him back in his father's arms.

    “No matter what,” Lisa told National Geographic. “The young baboon remains an inspiration to me—and a reminder, that life is fragile and no matter how much we fight to control its outcome, all we can do is live in the moment.”

    Click into the NEXT page to see another story about a lion with a heart of gold!

  • 10 of 13

    A baby wildebeest was hanging out, minding its own business . . . Then a young lion approached.

  • 11 of 13

    The chase begins. Things look dire as the lion narrows in.

  • 12 of 13

    He finally captures the young wildebeest. Oh no!

  • 13 of 13

    Aw, looks like the lion was more interested in having a nuzzle than eating the poor thing. So cute!

    Please SHARE this unbelievable story with everyone you know! Perhaps this kind of miracle happens more often in nature than we think…

  • next

    This 2014 Gift Guide For Billionaires Is Unbelievably Extravagant