A grieving lioness appears to adopt a newborn SPRINGBOK as if it were one of her own cubs in this fantastic series of photographs.
The lioness is seen holding back her young springbok from running away, cleaning it, playing with it – while preventing other members of her starving pride from approaching her “baby”.
When photographer Gordon Donovan went to the pride in Namutoni, Namibia’s Etosha National Park, he claimed that the strange occurrence lasted more than two hours.
The guide told Gordon that the lioness was part of a pride which had been overrun by a new male, and as a consequence, the dominant male had mu.rd.ered the lioness’s male cubs.
The guide informed Gordon that the lioness had been traumatized by the de.at.h of her young springbok, which may have explained her grieving attitude.
The lioness fought off two pregnant female lions that were on the prowl for food to protect her cub.
“It was a strange yet beautiful sight to behold,” Gordon added.
“I was excited about the lions, and when she captured [the springbok], I was waiting for the kill of the small antelope.
She never did, and now she’s cleaning it like a cat pampers her kittens.
“That’s the unpredictable way of nature, in which we never know what will happen next.
“Then she stood up for her adopted springbok cub against the other lions.
“These are the moments I always seek when I go to Africa.”