An astonishing series of photographs reveal a lioness nurturing a young springbok as if it were her cub, despite the antelope species being her natural prey.
Captured by photographer Gordon Donovan, this heartwarming story occurred at Etosha National Park in Namibia.
The lioness, mourning the loss of her cubs to a rival male lion, adopted the springbok calf and tenderly cared for it.
The fascinating set of images shows a grieving lioness apparently adopting the baby springbok as if it were one of her very own cubs. Source: Daily Mail
Donovan’s images show her cradling the antelope, grooming it, and protecting it from danger. In a remarkable display of compassion, she shielded the springbok from a pair of hungry, pregnant lions.
New York-based photographer Gordon Donovan described the event as “a bizarre yet stunning sight to behold.”
Initially expecting to witness a kill, Donovan marvelled at the unpredictable nature of wildlife: “That’s the mysterious way of nature, never knowing what will happen next” This touching moment exemplifies the profound experiences he seeks when travelling to Africa.
The shots show the lioness holding the young springbok back from running away, cleaning it, and pushing it around playfully – while refusing to allow other members of her hungry pride anywhere near it after her own cubs were killed by a rival male lion. Source: Daily Mail
Photographer Gordon Donovan, from New York, claims that the bizarre scene played out for more than two hours when he visited the pride in Namibia’s Etosha National Park. Source: Daily Mail
Gordon, 53, was informed by a guide that the lioness was part of a pride that had been overtaken by a new male, and, in doing so, the dominant male had killed the lioness’ male cubs. Source: Daily Mail
Although the antelope species are her natural prey, the lioness protected the bok from a pair of pregnant lions who approached in search of food. Source: Daily Mail