The lion who lay down with the baby oryx : LUSENET : Unk's Troll-free Private Saloon : One Thread

BBC News Jan 7, 2002


The lioness and the oryx Tourists flocked to watch the unlikely pair A lioness in central Kenya has baffled wildlife experts by adopting a baby oryx, a kind of small antelope normally preyed upon by big cats.

Reports say the full-grown lioness came across the oryx two weeks ago in the Samburu Game Reserve, scaring off its mother.

Instead of then attacking the defenceless calf, the lioness adopted the baby, protecting it from other predators, including a leopard.

Extraordinarily, the lioness still allowed the mother oryx occasionally to come and feed her calf before chasing her away. But the rule of the wild ultimately prevailed on Sunday when a male lion attacked and killed the baby oryx while the lioness was sleeping.

'Special instinct'

"This is either an extraordinary case of maternal instinct or simply the eighth wonder of the world," local Herman Mwasaghu told The Nation newspaper.

Mr Mwasaghu was one of the first to spot the unlikely pair, which proved a powerful draw for tourists and game workers alike.

The lioness would lie down to rest in the afternoon and its unlikely charge would curl up beside her.

Wildlife expert Vincent Kapeen said he thought the lioness spared the oryx "because animals have a special instinct to care for the young".

"What is baffling is why the relationship has lasted so long," he was quoted as saying.

Sad ending

According to the AFP news agency, the sad end to the story came on Sunday when the lioness led the oryx to the river to drink.

Weakened by two weeks of looking after her adopted baby, she fell asleep, failing to notice a hungry male lion in the area.

The oryx was no more. Patrick Muriungi, a receptionist at Samburu Lodge, told AFP the lioness was grief-stricken when she awoke to realise what had happened.

"She was very angry. She went around the lion about 10 times roaring, and then the lioness disappeared," he was quoted as saying.

She has not been seen since.

-- (, January 08, 2002


Lions have pets??!?

-- Little Nipper (, January 08, 2002.

Did I mispell my name? I thought I was an impala.

-- Oxy (, January 08, 2002.

Oxy, do you like to play "lion"?

-- (, January 09, 2002.

Ah wimmo wac, ah wimmo wac, ah wimmo wac, ah wimmo wac ...

-- Oxy (, January 09, 2002.

I ... don't ... get it, Oxy.

-- helen (, January 09, 2002.

"The Lion Sleeps Tonight", the Tokens. WRONG GAME

-- (, January 09, 2002.

Um, did you take a wrong turn?

Take it over to The Lions Board, you anarchist.

-- (, January 10, 2002.

Nemesis, how do you play lion?

-- Pammy ( of KOS and mud ; )), January 10, 2002.

Is this a reference to the "lioness on the knife handle" position?

-- helen wishes they would let high school kids read ALL the classics (, January 10, 2002.

Helen, more abstruse than Nemesis, talking about "a lioness on knife handles".

-- (, January 10, 2002.

I'm afraid to click on your link, Lars. :)

-- helen (hides@her.eyes), January 10, 2002.

It's the only hit I got on a search for "lioness on the knife handle". I thought I might get something in Kama Sutra. I was hoping for something graphic.

-- (, January 10, 2002.

Eventually becoming a big city journalist, I still remember flunking college freshman English in part because of a discussion of lions' sexual positions.

I think I am going to avoid this thread in prophylactic defense. You guys are giving me flashbacks.

-- Oxy (, January 11, 2002.

We didn't get to read any stories like that when I was in high school!

-- Pammy (, January 11, 2002.

Ok, Pammy. The story is called "Lysistrata", although I may have spelled it wrong. I don't know where our copy went. I think it was a Greek tale. The guys kept waging war, using up the treasury for war, and generally being assholes. The women, led by Lysistrata (or some name like that), called on all the women in the land to cut their menfolk off sexually. "Take no more the position of the lioness on the knife handle" is the only specific quote I remember. May have misquoted it too. That was the general idea, anyway.

The women won.

-- helen (, January 11, 2002.

Helen, that is the story Lars linked to. : )

-- Pammy (, January 11, 2002.

I'm always afraid to click on Lars' links. :)

-- helen (retelling@the.story), January 11, 2002.

Yes, Lysistrata was part of my freshman English course, then expanded upon by the professor. I had to take the damn course over. And yes, I am often a little shy to link to Lars' stuff too. Some links make my computer shake.

-- Oxy (, January 11, 2002.

My roommate had a nutso grad student for a basic English comp course. He was nasty all the time. He kept failing her papers. In desperation, we went to a library where they kept copies of Penthouse. After ... uh ... boning up ... on the subject of sex, we wrote papers that consistently got A's.

-- helen (heavy@breathing.for.a.good.cause), January 11, 2002.

Helen, you might be interested in Reject ed letters to Penthouse. (don't be afraid to click on this link, I am wearing a condom)

-- (, January 12, 2002.


In reference to the lyrics, to me, it sounds more like this..

Ba-winga-wop, ba-winga-wop, ba-winga-wop, ba-winga-wop...

-- doo dee doo-doo, doo-doo dee doo-doo (the lion @ sleeps. tonight), January 12, 2002.

Oh Lars. Oh my.

-- helen (closes@eyes.and.clicks), January 12, 2002.

Those *were* pretty pitiful.

But "the munching shuttlecocks"???

-- Pammy (, January 12, 2002.

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