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Baboon Gives Us 'Lion King' Realness While Carrying Lion Cub Around Safari Park

Do you guys remember that scene in The Lion King when Rafiki held little baby Simba up in the air and all the animals of the savanna bowed down to the future king of the jungle and Elton John's "Circle of Life" played?

Of course you do. Who doesn't?

Well, in a true "life imitating art" moment, one baboon recently took it upon himself to personally recreate that iconic scene with a lion cub, although this homage was a lot less magical than the movie version.

It all went down on February 1 in South Africa's Kruger National Park.

As The Associated Press reported, Kurt Schultz, operator of Kurt Safari, spotted the male baboon carrying the lion cub up a tree as if it was its own baby.

"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," he said.

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As Schultz snapped photos and other safari riders took videos of the bizarre sight, the baboon moved the visibly "exhausted" cub from branch to branch.

The safari operator said it was especially hot that morning, and the baby lion was "showing signs of dehydration."

As for how the baboon got a hold of the cub, Schultz explained that a group of the primates had been lingering in an area where lions leave their cubs while they go off to hunt, so it's possible the baboons discovered the cub while its parents were gone.

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Unfortunately, this little cub probably won't have the same happy ending that Simba did in The Lion King.

"[Baboons] are really strong animals," Schultz explained, "and when they were all excited and fighting over the baby in the beginning, it could have been injured internally."

"I don't see a chance of this poor cub surviving," he continued. "The troop of baboons was large and a lion would not be able to get the young back."

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The sad truth is that animals in the wild don't co-exist quite as peacefully as they do in Disney movies.

"Nature is cruel at most times and the survival of a young predator cub is not easy," Schultz said. "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."

h/t: The Associated Press

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