Is this lion feeling a little bit guilty? A nature photographer tracking a pack of lions in Kenya witnessed something a little strange: A lion seemingly adopts a baby antelope after eating its mother for dinner.
iDigital Times reports that the bizarre scene was captured in a series of photos by nature photographer Adri De Visser. The photos show the lioness playing with the baby antelope.
It doesn’t appear like the lion has any plans to attack the little lamb but according to Craig Packer, Director of the University of Minnesota’s Lion Research Center, the situation probably ended poorly for the antelope.
“The lamb always gets eaten. It’s quite common for cats to play with their prey and they can look very gentle doing it. But it always ends in tears.”
Packer said that the baby’s only hope is to remain undetected. If it’s detected, the lamb will look for solace in the large, warm animal. Of course, the comfort is temporary.
“So, when they are detected, they just kind of stand around. They don’t know how to run away. When they see the lion, they are responding to the presence of a large, warm body.”
According to the NY Daily News, lions have adopted baby antelopes before. The relationship, however, usually doesn’t last. In 2002 a lion in Kenya adopted a few baby antelopes. The lambs ended up starving and the lion ate them.
In 2005, an Animal Planet special tracked a lioness who had adopted an antelope. That lioness defended the baby from other predators. Unfortunately, the antelope was killed by one of the male lions.
But let’s forget about all of that and take a look at the lion who adopted an antelope in Kenya.