By Rebecca Drew
THE HARROWING moment a baby baboon appeared to beg to be spared from a hungry lioness’ jaws has been caught on camera.
Emotional images showed the 300-pound lioness as she played cruelly with the dying two-pound baby baboon in her mouth for several agonising minutes.
Another picture showed how the tiny primate grasped its hands and appeared to scream out in despair before succumbing to its inevitable fate.
The images were taken from just a few feet away at the Kruger National Park, South Africa, by photographer and entrepreneur Stew Nolan (41) from Merrivale in South Africa.
“This young lioness played with her prey for several agonising minutes until eventually walking out of sight with her very small meal,” said Stew.
“It’s never easy watching lions kill their prey slowly as in this manner and it’s also hard watching primates being captured and killed like this.
“What was particularly difficult to watch was the baby grasping out at the face of its killer. The hands are so similar to our own.
“I think there are mixed emotions. Some people are uncomfortable seeing the image because it is clear that the baby baboon is still alive. Others comment on the lions being king and how they get to eat what they want.
“Wildlife photography is exciting because you never know when you are going to witness something special like this. At times, nature can be quite unpredictable.”
Lions normally hunt in groups at night with females taking on the hunting role.
Lionesses are speedier and much more agile than their male counterparts, making them the perfect predator to snare their prey.