Lion Baby

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The porter and the nanny looked on in disbelief as white baby slept peacefully against the leg of the adult male lion. Although it had been nearly a century when the first white man discovered the Serengeti. In fact it was Stewart Edward White in 1913, a steady stream of them had come to both hunt and to study. This child's parents were the more welcome of the two. They were biologist, and they only hunted with cameras and specimen collecting jars. It is still not advised for the native Kenyan workers to lose rich white American people's babies to full grown lions.

In another part of Kenya, back in January of 2002 a wild lioness created an international stir by adopting a baby oryx. An oryx is an antelope with long straight horns, that lions normally prey upon. She nurtured it, protected it from other lions, and even let the mother in to feed it. She was able to do this for 17 days before it was eaten by another lion. She then followed a herd and culled out another baby oryx. When wildlife officials of the park intervened, she adopted a third oryx.

This was the first time a male lion had adopted the offspring of another species, as far as anyone knew of. With the alpha male making this decision, his pride would fight to the death to protect it. The lionesses of his pride as with all prides co-ordinate their mating so there are several births at the same time and all of the females raise all of the cubs. There was other young cubs, and the females had plenty of milk for the baby. They instinctively knew to let it feed separately from the other cubs.

News of this strange adoption spread like wild fire. Some said it was a sign of the approach of the apocalypse. Others said it was the second coming of Christ. Where Christians were fed to the lions, now the lions protected the child. There were those that said it was the anti-christ protected by wild beast. Whatever the case, the government of Kenya wasn't keen to intervene, because the event was so deeply revered by so many different groups. There was an army of sharp shooters with both knock out darts and live ammunition to protect the human child. If the lion raised a paw to swipe at it, they could and would have dropped it. A week passed and they had no reason to shoot.

In the dark of the night, silent helicopters painted black were invisible against the sky. They dropped some chemical that put all the sharpshooters, the government officials, the curious onlookers, the press and the lion pride to sleep. Only a dropped video camera was the soundless witness to this invasion. Men or women dressed in black exited the helicopters with military precision. The child and the entire pride were loaded on to the helicopters and whisked away.

No country or group claimed responsibility. Conspiracy theories were put forward in droves. One month, then two, then three passed with no more news of the strange adoption and abduction. The story faded as they tend to do when no more information surfaces about them.



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