The incredible scene showing a lioness cuddling an antelope was captured by photographer Gordon Donovan.
You can see the lioness licking the baby antelope and holding it in a defensive position, seemingly shielding it from danger.
She even protected it when a pair of lions approached in search of food.
Mr Donovan said: ‘It was a strange but beautiful sight to behold. I was so excited for the lions, and when she got the springbok, I was waiting for the ki.ll.”
“But it never came and started cleaning the calf. It’s nature’s mysterious way, never knowing what will happen next. ”
“She then protected her adopted springbok cubs from other lions. These are the moments I look for when I come to Africa.”
The eerie sight went on for more than two hours while the photographer was touring the pride in Namibia’s Etosha National Park.
Apparently, the lioness was part of the pride that had been taken over by a new male, and so the dominant male ki.l.led the lionesses.
Although antelope is a natural prey for a lioness, this particularly grieving lioness seemed to treat it like one of her cubs.