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Photo of lioness nursing baby leopard baffles experts - call it one of a kind

A picture of a wild lioness nursing a baby leopard recently emerged from Tanzania’s Ngorongoro Conservation Area in Africa. It is an extremely rare and unique sighting and has baffled experts.  In the photo, a 3-week-old baby leopard can be seen suckling the 5-year-old lioness called Nosikitok as she lays on the grass. The photo was taken by a tourist staying at a lodge inside the World Heritage Site.   Dr Hunter, President and Chief Conservation Officer at a wild cat conservation group called Panthera, sai

A picture of a wild lioness nursing a baby leopard recently emerged from Tanzania’s Ngorongoro Conservation Area in Africa. It is an extremely rare and unique sighting and has baffled experts.

In the photo, a 3-week-old baby leopard can be seen suckling the 5-year-old lioness called Nosikitok as she lays on the grass. The photo was taken by a tourist staying at a lodge inside the World Heritage Site. 

Dr Hunter, President and Chief Conservation Officer at a wild cat conservation group called Panthera, said it was truly a unique case. He said that he had never heard of a similar case before among big cats. According to him, as the lioness had recently given birth to her own cubs, she was psychologically inclined to take care of baby cats which was a crucial factor, notes The Independent. 

The experts concluded that the lioness had probably lost her own cubs and the baby leopard had lost its mother (possibly killed by the lioness). The ferocious maternal drive left the lioness vulnerable and she decided to adopt and nurse the baby leopard. 

Experts are still unsure as to what might happen when her pride discovers the baby leopard. It is quite possible that they may kill it off. And even if it does manage to stay with the lioness for 12 to 18 months, it will most likely leave the pride and survive on its own as leopards are solo hunters and prefer to live alone. 

 

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