Saturday, November 17, 2007

MUST Watch "Heart of a Lioness"

In Samburu, Kenya there is a legend about a lioness who adopted an oryx calf. On the wall of the park gate there is a painting of this lioness and calf. When I was there the first time, my guide told me the story - a lioness who could not have cubs adopted oryx calves due to her mothering instinct. Supposedly it was absolutely true, witnessed by many people. Of course, it was quite hard to believe.

There's an elephant research camp in Samburu called "Save the Elephants," and when I got back from Samburu I contacted them about an elephant birth I'd seen there, to see if they wanted the photos. They did, and I corresponded with researcher and author Ian Douglas-Hamilton about them. As I looked at the Save the Elephants website I saw that they had a link to photos of this lioness with oryx. (I don't see them there currently). Later, I learned that a documentary was made by the daughter of Ian Douglas-Hamilton, who runs the research camp and also, with his wife, a lovely lodge called Elephant Watch Camp. I had the privilege to stay there in May when I went back to visit Albert, the baby elephant.

I couldn't find the documentary on DVD; it's called "Heart of a Lioness." I searched for it on animal Planet in vain. Then, last night, IT WAS ON. I was so excited when I saw it come on the kitchen television that I raced into the bedroom to Tivo it, somehow (unexplainably) dislocating my right shoulder in the process. Before I lost consciousness and then was raced (by my devoted and ever patient boyfriend) to St. Luke's ER, I fortunately had the presence of mind to get to the Tivo remote and hit record.

Lucky for you, Animal Planet is showing the program again Nov 24 and 25. YOU HAVE TO SEE IT!!! It is a fantastic and suspense filled true life drama about the adoption of calves by this lioness, and what happens. I have never enjoyed a documentary so much, nor been in such suspense. I can't imagine ANYONE not being wowed by this program!! In all truth, despite the fact shoulder dislocations are EXTREMELY painful, it was actually worth it....though I sure wish it hadn't happened and I'd caught one of the later showings! I've been trying to find this program since May when I last returned from Samburu, and I am so glad I finally did.

Samburu is my favorite place in Africa so far, and seeing the land, the animals and the people I have been lucky enough to come to know there was wonderful. But seeing through film the remarkable story of what happened there is so incredible, it's only slightly heightened by my personal experience. See for yourself! Don't miss it!


Anonymous said...

It's on again tonight and over the next few days. I agree it is a must see!

You can see it on Animal Planet:

Thu Feb 21 8pm
Thu Feb 21 11pm
Fri Feb 22 3am
Sat Feb 23 2pm
(all times eastern)

Anonymous said...

I agree i was scrambling through the channels when I came across this show. it was the most touching and remarkable thing i had ever seen! i just wish they would sell the DVD i would really love to buy it. i only got to see it once on its last showing :( i just wish they would show it one more time so i can show it to my friends and parents. its so sad how a lioness can defy the laws of nature and sacrifice so much like friends, FOOD, not eating the poor oryx. until some random JERK of a male lion came and killed the oryx >(. both kamiyak (lioness's name) and the helpless oryx were so weak from not eating for more than two weaks that they couldnt do a thing to prevent the baby oryx from bieng eaten after all the hard work kamiyak went through even when she thought of eating the oryx she was still a GREAT mother and ignored her hunger. The people who shot the film said kamiyak adopted 5 more oryx's and they all either found their mother,died of starvation,and escaped. after that they couldnt find kamiyak any more :..( poor girl. she touched me so much that i even cried at the end seing the lion eat the oryx i even got liscence plates for my truck with kamiyak's name on them

Anonymous said...

I watched this program. What a bunch a callous jerks created this program.

The lion was traumatized but they couldn't do anything because they had to let nature take its course, even though her situation was caused unnaturally by man's cruelty.

The lion's reaction was no different than a woman that has lost her child then steals another child to raise as her own.

I am sure they could have taken her to a sanctuary that could have taken care of her and help her heal her hurts.