Encountering the king of the jungle

2008-01-31 00:00

It all started as we were about to move on after we had spent a few minutes in the car discussing their symbiotic relationship. A fellow traveller decided that we had spent enough time on the roadside discussing the relationship between baboon troops and impala herds and alighted from the vehicle to get something to drink from the cooler box. The African sun had come out in its punishingly beautiful splendour.

Then we saw the cause of the commotion. A more majestic sight one will never see. The muscles on the side of her lithe physique rippled in concert as she bounded towards the confused allies (read baboon troop and impala herd). Often, when recounting an unbelievable incident, people will say that time froze, that everything happened in slow motion. But, in my case, things really happened in slow motion. I was able to see that she made three purposeful bounds and was among the buck. Within a few seconds, the peace that had existed was replaced by the panicky barking of baboons and the fretful bleating of the impala. The allies fled in all directions, confused.

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