• A normal day for photographers Evan Schiller and Lisa Holzwarth left them startled at how nature can twist ordinary expectations into a remarkable heroic story of a little baboon and its frightening encounter with a lioness.

    The story begins when a lioness kills a female baboon. The mother baboon was carrying her son when they were attacked by the lioness, all in front of the photographers a while back.

    Scared that he might also die, the little baboon disembarks from her mother and tries to climb a nearby tree in vain as it had sustained injuries and was too weak.

    Waiting for the inevitable

    The commotion attracts the attention of the lioness, who moves closer to investigate. The lioness sits under the tree and watches the small animal as it struggles to climb. Cats normally toy with their prey before unleashing the killer grip. 

    Ready to document the unfolding event, the camera people started shooting away. What they captured, however, is not what they or so many other people would expect.

    On noticing the lioness, the baboon stops cold in its tracks. The lioness stares at the baboon in wonder… should she go for it or let it pass…


    You have a friend in me

    The lioness moves closer to the petrified baboon, but instead of lashing at the small creature, she reaches out with her forelimb to establish trust.

    Eventually, won over by the wild cat, little baboon softens and is later seen being embraced by the lioness.


    Motherly instincts

    With the differences ironed out, the baboon tries to suckle the lioness, which sits still allowing the baby baboon to grab onto her mane. The baboon is seen playing and passing  time with his newly found mother.

    Time to meet the rest of pride

    Suddenly, two lions arrive on the scene. But the lioness sensing danger in the blood-thirsty relatives, she goes aggressively after them. She sends warning signals to the lions that she was ready to protect her newly found baby at any cost. Meanwhile, the baby baboon was left alone, his father was watching from a distance…

    Am your papa

    The ‘baby papa’ who was watching from a distance as the event unfolded, rushes in to save his son before he is killed like its mother. He descends, grabs his son, and returns to his spot atop a nearby tree.

    It is a happy reunion as the baboon goes back to his family despite having found another family which unfortunately killed his mom.

    Given the nature of the food chain, it was unexpected that the lioness would take in the little baboon under her protection. The photo story affirms that maternal instincts surpass the boundaries, no matter the species in question.

    Beyond everything, the story revolves around the love the lioness shows to the young baboon and an older male baboon that risks its own life in order to save his son from the paws of the predators. That is real love!


    Images credit: Evan Schiller and Lisa Holzwarth