When a yellow baboon adopts a bushbaby, it feels like a familiar narrative we have had before. Did you hear of Owen the tortoise and Mzee the hippo at Haller Park who became best friends? You also must have heard of the lioness who adopted a baby Oryx.
The case of the baboon and bushbaby is no different. The two animals had led different lives in different locations but as fate would have it, they found each other at the Nairobi Animal Orphanage which is now their new home. The bushbaby was brought from Karatina while the baboon had been abandoned in Maralal from where it was rescued.
Perhaps, coming from 2 troubled pasts and in pursuit of love and affection, it was not too difficult to forge such a bond. The baboon plays the role of ‘mother’ and protector.
Whatever is happening in the Kenyan wild, it seems we may not have the last of such spectacular stories of unnatural fellowships. Owen had been rescued on 27 December 2004 when the Asian Tsunami separated him from his family leaving him alone in the Indian Ocean. He was brought to Haller Park where he found friendship in the most unlikely creature, a 130-year-old giant Aldabra tortoise named Mzee.
One year before this on January 7, 2003, a spectacular friendship was forged between the hunter and the hunted. A lioness in the Samburu wildlife reserve decided to protect an Oryx calf for 15 days after it was born.
Ordinarily, it would have killed the Oryx for a meal. Instead, the predator escorted it around the Samburu wildlife and kept away other carnivorous beasts.
Next time you are at the Nairobi Animal Orphanage, be sure to check out these 2 – they will thrill you if not set you on a path of reflection as to how animals have managed to crack it – that love regardless of gender, race, social status, origin or political affiliation, is the most powerful tool we can use in this world to forge a lasting peace.