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2002 has been a remarkable year for Kamuniak, a lioness living in the Samburu National Reserve in Northern Kenya. Although she remains blissfully unaware of her celebrity status, she has earned more newspaper column inches and TV airtime than many of the world’s publicity hungry celebrities and politicians.

The reason for her fame is her unflinching determination to turn the law of the jungle on its head. On four separate occasions throughout the year- she has adopted tiny Oryx calves- normally considered prey for a lion. She treated all four calves as she would her own cub, amazing visitors to the reserve, baffling wildlife experts and earning from the local Samburu people the honored name of Kamuniak- The Blessed One.

All of her four adoptions came to an untimely end- through attacks by other lions, intervention by the calves natural mothers, or by rangers who had to rescue one calf that was unable to feed. For the full details of this incredible story see our News Archive.

After Kamuniak’s last adoption ended with the calf returning to the herd, it seemed that she had lost interest in becoming a surrogate mother, and she stopped following the herds.

Yet on Monday 7/10/02, Rangers were surprised to find her with her fifth adoptive ‘cub’ a tottering 5 day old Oryx calf, and the story has once again made headlines.

Tourists and journalists are now tracking down the unlikely duo, and experts are ascertaining whether she is again allowing the calf to return to its herd to feed.
Kamuniak herself is clearly undisturbed by all of this attention, and is busy playing the role of devoted- if unconventional- parent.

Stay tuned to for more on this incredible story- We’ll keep you posted.
Related Links
See Samburu Travel
News Archive
Kenya Tourist Board - 10th Anniversary Celebrations - the official destination website of Kenya Tourist Board
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