Daily Paws

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Posts Tagged ‘Kamunyak’

Daily Paws Picture of the Day: Kamunyak

Tuesday, May 1st, 2012

In Kenya, Kamunyak (Blessed one) has tried to adopt six times. These adoptions have all been rather unsuccessful. This is because Kamunyak is a lioness who likes to kidnap and adopt oryx calves. Kamunyak lived alone, which made her unique among the lions in her territory at the Samburu Reserve. Even though oryx, a species of antelope, is usually lion food, Kamunyak kidnapped her first Oryx in December 2002 and tried to raise him as her own. Initially, she scared off the mother oryx before relenting and allowing the mother oryx to occassionally approach and feed the calf. After feedings, Kamunyak would then chase the mother oryx away. This did not end well for a number of reasons. For example, oryx are prey animals and constantly eating and often awake. Lions, on the other hand, are rather languid and nocturnal. The lioness became sleep deprived and emaciated in order to keep an eye on her charge. On day sixteen, a male lion happened upon mother and adopted baby and gobbled the oryx up. African Lions tend to be pretty aggressive towards cubs sired by other lions. This oryx was clearly not his scion. (He also looked tasty.) Depressed (very depressed, as she was seen roaring in anger at the male lion,) Kamunyak soon kidnapped another oryx before it was rescued by Kenya Wildlife Services. The third and fourth oryx she tried to adopt were rescued by their mothers. The fifth one starved to death (lions and oryx do not have very compatible diets) and the sixth one escaped. Kamunyak was last seen in 2004. There are several theories that attempt to explain her strange behavior, including hormonal imbalances due ovarian tumors or bad eyesight, but her behavior made clear she wasn’t interested in the oryx as a food source, but as a child.

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