There are some movies that are based on real-life, but Disney movies starring animals usually are more creative license than real life. But to our surprise, real money recreated an iconic scene in The Lion King with a little lion cub and it’s wonderfully weird.
Kurt Schultz, operator of Kurt Safari, in South Africa’s Kruger National Park, told The Associated Press that in his 20 years of working around animals, he had never seen anything quite like this. A male baboon was carrying around a little lion cub in his mouth. The real-life scene mirrored The Lion King scene where Rafiki holds up Simba in front of all the other animals of the savanna.
“Male baboons do a lot of grooming, but the care given to this lion cub was the same care given by a female baboon to one of her own young,” Schultz said. He was able to snap a few photos of this interesting event and said the troop of baboons,” were all excited and fighting over the baby.”
Animals in the wild are fascinating, and this scene recreation is way better than the actual live-action movie we were given, but nature can also be cruel. Schultz says that the little lion “could have been injured internally,” while being carried by the baboon and he showed “signs of dehydration” since it was a hot day.
“I don’t see a chance of this poor cub surviving. The troop of baboons was large, and a lion would not be able to get the young back,” Schultz said. “Nature is cruel at most times and the survival of a young predator cub is not easy. The lion cub would pose a threat to the baboons when it gets older. I have witnessed baboons viciously killing leopard cubs and have heard of baboons killing lion cubs.”
In The Lion King, Rafiki was nurturing to little Simba and seemed like a playful father-type figure, but real nature doesn’t usually play out that way. Schultz says the lion cub was likely left behind by his mother, who went out hunting when the baboon troop found him.
It does make for some cool photos, though.