Yet another marvel of Mother Nature is on the offing at the Nairobi Animal Orphanage where recently a unique fellowship between a yellow baboon and a bush baby was forged. For those of us who may recall the story of Owen the tortoise and Mzee the hippo at Haller Park or the lioness who adopted a baby Oryx, then this story begins to feel like déjà vu.
The year-old Owen was rescued on 27 December 2004 when the Asian Tsunami separated him from his family leaving him alone in the Indian Ocean. Owen was brought to Haller Park where he found friendship in the most unlikely creature, a 130 year-old giant Aldabran tortoise name Mzee.
One year before this in January 7, 2003, a spectacular friendship was forged between a lioness and a baby Oryx in Samburu wildlife reserve. In a radical departure from its instincts, the lioness protected the little calf for 15 days since its birth. Ordinarily it would have killed the Oryx for a meal. Instead, the predator escorted it around the Samburu wildlife and kept away other carnivorous beasts.
Fast forwarding to our present story, it is said that the two animals led different lives in different locations and as fate would have it, found each other at the orphanage. The bush baby was brought from Karatina while the baboon had been abandoned in Maralal where it was rescued and brought to the orphanage.
Perhaps coming from two troubled pasts and in pursuit of love and affection, it was no wonder the bond between the two grew this strong. The baboon plays the role of ‘mother’ and protector to the bush baby which seems to be enjoying the attention and protection it is receiving and savouring every moment.
Next time you are at the Nairobi Animal Orphanage, be sure to check out these two – they will thrill you if not set you on a path of reflection as to how animals have managed to crack it – that love regardless of gender, race, social status, origin or political affiliation, is the most powerful tool we can use in this world to forge lasting peace. If humans observed these simple principles of life, the world would not witness such atrocities as seen in Rwanda, Darfur and other places in the world – it would be a wonderful place to live. We too can do it – the animals have!