By Hayley Pugh
This is the extraordinary moment a young lion appeared to care for a baby antelope who had lost its mum.
Showing it’s softer side the usually intimidating beast can be seen sitting quietly with the tiny calf, before licking it and carrying it along by the scruff of its next – in the same way lions carry their cubs.
The amazing scenes took place at Kruger National Park and were captured by Graeme Mitchley, a deputy head teacher at a school in Edenvale, South Africa.
The 45-year-old, who was on a trip with his wife, said the newborn antelope appeared to have been separated from its mum before stumbling into the path of the predator.
The lion eventually carried the calf out of sight so no one knows how the unusual interaction ended.
He said: “On this particular day there wasn’t an animal in sight, never mind any lions.
“I commented to my wife that I would love to know where they had all got to. A few minutes later, out of nowhere a lion came walking out of the dry bush with something in its mouth.
“At first, it looked like a lioness carrying her cub. However, at second glance, it turned out to be a young male carrying a newborn antelope.
“The young lion carried the antelope down into the dry riverbed where we lost visual, but could still hear the antelope bleating.
“The lion went into the riverbed also because there were white-backed vultures, hooded vultures and marabou storks in the vicinity hoping to take off with the buck.
“I think this was pure opportunism on the part of the lion as he must have stumbled upon the newborn whilst walking through the bush.
“I am not sure what happened to its mum but she may have been grazing and wandered a bit too far off from her youngster.
“We visit the Kruger often but this was a rare sighting for both of us.
“That’s why the Kruger National Park is the best place on Earth, you never know what lies in wait around the following bend.”