A fortunate baby antelope avoided being a snack for a lioness and was instead taken under the paw of the fierce predator.
Caught on film by Dutch nature photographer Adri De Visser, 50, he spotted the lion feasting on the carcass of a Uganda kob, the baby antelope’s mother in Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda. Sporting gashes that may indicate a ferocious yet victorious chase, the lioness soon discovered the baby antelope hidden among the tall grass.
"I followed them for a while and they went up a tree to rest from the sun," De Visser told the Daily Mail. "I was watching them when I heard a noise. It was the kob's fawn that had been hiding in the long grass."
De Visser snapped several endearing photos of the pair as the scene unfolded. Instead of eating the fawn the lion crouched and stalked the orphan for 45 minutes. She then let out a roar as if to try and scare the baby away. But the fawn was unfazed, curiously nudging the lioness’s feet and crawling between her legs as if attempting to get her milk. De Visser says the lion seemed confused but didn’t attack and instead began to pet the baby with her paw.
The animals were soon scared off as a park ranger approached on a motorcycle and they were startled by the noise.
“So the lioness picked the fawn up by the neck and carried it off like one of its own,” said De Visser.
He later got word from a group of tourists that the fawn was seen alive and well.
While this fawn cheated certain death, not all nature babies have been so lucky. In 2002, video was taken of a lioness adopting several newborn antelopes at Samburu National Reserve in Kenya.
According to the New York Times, one of the babies starved to death and was eventually eaten by the lioness.