We all know nature is a brutal place, but sometimes, the compassion of even the fiercest of beasts can stop you in your tracks.

During a 16-day tour of Botswana, photographer Evan Schiller captured a gripping interaction between a group of baboons and a pride of lions. After a lioness attacked and killed one of the primates, she noticed a newborn crawl out from beneath its mothers body, and what happened next shocked Schiller and his companions. His wife, Lisa Holzwarth, wrote in an account of the event to accompany Schiller's photos:

The lioness then carried the baby in its mouth (really at that moment she could have swallowed it whole without a blink of an eye) and put it down on the ground in front of her. What happened next blew our minds -– the baby, in another instinctual moment, held onto the lioness’ chest and tried to suckle ... The lioness was being as gentle as a 350 pound cat can be with a 3 or 4 pound baby baboon.

Schiller wrote that the lioness had to fend off two hungry males, which gave the baby baboon's father time to snatch him back and scurry up into a tree, out of reach the big cats. And what happened to the baby?

"I like to think that the little guy survived with the help of his troop," Holzwarth wrote. "He was alive and safe in his father’s arms when we left and that’s how I like to remember it. No matter what, he remains an inspiration – and a reminder, that life is fragile."

The female lions chase off two male lions to protect the baby baboon.

The father of the baby baboon had been watching from a tree nearby and finally scooped the baby to safety.

Responses to "Lioness Protects Baby Baboon From Hungry Companions During Gripping Encounter (Photos)"

  1. Maravilloso . . . !

  2. Maravilloso

  3. Anonymous says:

    Wonderful ! I pray the Baby lived .

  4. Anonymous says:

    truly a sign that even though the wild balances itself out,, a mother is a mother regardless of species...

  5. Anonymous says:

    I hate to be a party pooper but I've seen this kind of behaviour in a leopard mother saving a baby hog, looking after it gently while it tried to suckle only to bring it to her cubs alive so they can learn how to kill :/ Mother Nature is cruel yet beautiful so with this lucky escape we have a choice of which of her aspects to believe.

  6. I patted a Lioness at the Serbian zoo. She did not hurt me.

  7. She was very old and just fed.No teeth.

  8. Unknown says:

    The mothering instinct is very strong in this lioness

  9. Unknown says:

    The mothering instinct is very strong in this lioness

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