Probably the highlight of my visit to Lake Nakuru’s National Park is to have been blessed to see a new-born Thompson Gazelle make its very first steps in life. She was still wet from birth, her mother had been licking her to clean her. Both for this reason were harassed by flies. At first I was surprised to see that they were far from the group of gazelles.
I was waiting for the moment… I was so absorbed in it, that I even forgot to film it! How I regret not having caught with my camera the moment when defying gravity the calf stood on its thin legs for the first time in its life! Where could he find the strength after the tremendous effort of birth, to fight against gravity? A new-born human baby would require months before finding the strength for such an effort: but in wildlife, they couldn’ t afford such luxuries…
What was the motivation behind this instinct? Maybe hunger and thurst after the effort… Here we see the perfection of creation. It was so hungry and thirsty that this made gave the new-born strength! Indeed it was impossible for it to feed if sitting. And the mother would certainly not bend down for him. She would empower her calf, to stand up to her! What an amazing mum!
It was funny to see how clumsy and funny its first steps were. Who could beleive that one day it would become a racing champion. How? Because it had not other option: it was a run for your life rule.
The exhausted mother stood up. Then she moved away. The baby wanted to have some milk, but she denied it to him. The guide – who also got to see such a miraculous event for the first time in his life- said that she was denying him the milk so that he could learn how to stand and walk and run first.
Suddenly I saw a jackal roaming around in that group. He was alone. It is only later checking the pictures I had taken that I saw that actually the mother was aware of the jackal’s presence.
Maybe it’s the reason why the group had moved away. I was surprised that the mother and calf were not hiding behind the bushes and that they were in the open: why did she choose such a place to give birth?
The mother could not transport the baby. There was only one solution: hiding and have him walk. The new-born’s fur provides a good camouflage for protection…but is it sufficient?
This experience could be qualified as empowering: when the baby is born, his life is not to be taken for granted. It has to survive, and it’s the survival of the strongest. We all know about the giant sea turtles, but this could be applied to any animal. Even the lioness has to protect the calfs froms the hungry father and other lions…
It was fascinating to see that the mother did not stay with the baby: any human would have remained with the baby to protect it. Did she know that if she denied the milk and left he would follow. In fact it was the only card left for her to play: to count on the child’s ability to walk and run. She could not call the other members of her group, it would attract more attention from the hungry predator.
At some point she crossed the road and the baby was left on the other side alone. Now a 20 meter distance separated the mother and her new-born and the jackal was roaming.
It was clear that the calf was exhausted. After the effort of being born, it was hungry and thirsty. But it there was another emergency: survival! If the jackal found it it would be finished : she would lose her new-born. She waited for him to empower himself. In the meantime, she keep his eyes on him.
Seen through human’s perception it could be qualified of reckless or an inhuman behaviour. Indeed it was inhuman, there was godliness in this behaviour! She was an empowering teacher to all humans of how to empower one’s child.
We remained there for a long time… I then decided to proceed… the jackal was still searching… but this time I thought it would not find the calf. The other cars that followed protected the calf and the jackal would not approach us. Wild animals are wild, not because we should fear them but because first and foremost they fear us. This is something that really surprised me on my first safari.
What happened next… we can only hope for life to go on! And it’s the beauty of wildlife!
And this beautiful video was done by somebody else, it’s so lovely I want to share it here