23 August 2007

A wolf and lamb thing

Back in 2002 Kamuniak, a lioness in the Samburu National Reserve in Kenya adopted
tiny Oryx calves on four separate occasions. The calves are normally considered prey for lions. She treated all four as she would her own cubs, amazing visitors to the reserve, baffling wildlife experts and earning from the local Samburu people the honored name of Kamuniak- The Blessed One.

All of her four adoptions came to an untimely end either through attacks by other lions, intervention by the calves natural mothers, or by rangers who had to rescue one calf that was unable to feed.

After Kamuniak’s last adoption ended with the calf returning to the herd, it seemed that she had lost interest in becoming a surrogate mother, and she stopped following the herds.

Yet on July 10, 2007 Rangers were surprised to find her with her fifth adoptive 5 day old Oryx calf.
Tourists and journalists are now tracking down the unlikely duo, and experts are ascertaining whether she is again allowing the calf to return to its herd to feed.
Kamuniak herself is clearly undisturbed by all of this attention, and is busy playing the role of devoted- if unconventional- parent.

No comments: