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NEW HOME FOR VALENTINE

Earlier this year, the world was amazed by remarkable reports from Northern Kenya. Incredible images filled the world's press, as a lioness named Kamuniak, adopted a new born oryx calf. Completely reversing the natural order of prey and predator, the full grown lioness treated the stumbling young calf as her own cub.

For 15 days she protected and cared for the infant antelope, even allowing it to return to its own Mother to feed. When the story came to a tragic end after the calf was killed by a male lion, experts dismissed the case as a unique, freak occurence.

They were rapidly proved wrong, when on Valentine's Day 2002, Kamuniak found and adopted yet another calf. The scientific and conservation community remain baffled by this behavioural mystery.

Unfortunately, this time the calves mother left the scene, leaving the lioness unable to feed her adopted charge. Even Kamuniak herself found the demands of caring for the oryx too time consuming, and was unable to hunt. With the health of both animals at risk, Rangers decided to intervene and remove the oryx from the lions care.

The female calf was christened Valentine and was moved first to a nearby private game sanctuary, before being flown to Nairobi by light aircraft. She was immediately collected by staff of Kenya Wildlife Services (KWS) who moved her to their specialist animal orphanage in Nairobi.

She has received plenty of special care and is now doing very well. The Nairobi Animal Orphanage is attached to the main gate of Nairobi National Park, and together with the neighbouring Safari Walk works to protect and care for injured, orphanned and abandoned wildlife.

The Orphanage is open to the public, and with her high profile background, Valentine is becoming a popular attraction wioth visitors.

This remarkable story is a genuine wildlife miracle, born out of Kenya's magical, ever changing natural world.

Formore information on Nairobi Animal Orphanage and National Park, see Related Links above.
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