Baboon grooms little lion cub in South Africa’s Kruger park

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In this photo taken Saturday, Feb. 1, 2020, a male baboon preens a lion cub in a tree While the rest of the baboon troop settled down, the male “moved from branch to branch, grooming and carrying the cub for a long period of time,â€' said Schultz. in the Kruger National Park, South Africa. (Photo Kurt Schultz via AP)
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In this photo taken Saturday, Feb. 1, 2020, a male baboon carries a lion cub in a tree while the rest of the baboon troop settled down, the male moved from branch to branch, grooming and carrying the cub for a long period of time,â€' said Schultz, in the Kruger National Park, South Africa. The baboon took the little cub into the tree and preened it as if it were his own, said safari ranger Kurt Schultz who said in 20 years he had never seen such behaviour. The fate of the lion cub is unknown. (Photo Kurt Schultz via AP)
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In this photo taken Saturday, Feb. 1, 2020, a male baboon carries a lion cub in a tree in the Kruger National Park, South Africa. The baboon took the little cub into the tree and preened it as if it were his own, said safari ranger Kurt Schultz who said in 20-years he had never seen such behaviour. The fate of the lion cub is unknown. (Photo Kurt Schultz via AP)
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Updated 04 February 2020

Baboon grooms little lion cub in South Africa’s Kruger park

JOHANNESBURG: A male baboon carrying and grooming a lion cub is an unusual sight, yet it happened over the weekend in South Africa’s Kruger National Park.
The baboon took the cub up into a tree and preened it as if it were its own, said safari operator Kurt Schultz, who in 20 years had never seen such behavior.
“The baboon was grooming the lion cub as if it was a baby baboon,” Schultz said in an email to The Associated Press. “Male baboons do a lot of grooming but the care given to this lion cub was the same care given by a female baboon to one of her own young.”

Schultz said when he first saw the baboons early Saturday, the troop of baboons was excited and animated. It is possible they had discovered the lion cub, he said.
The baboons had gathered in an area with granite hills and boulders where lions and leopards have been known to hide their cubs while they go hunting, he said, and that’s likely how the baboons found the cub.
Baboons “are really strong animals and when they were all excited and fighting over the baby in the beginning, it could have been injured internally,” Schultz said. It was a hot morning and the cub was also showing signs of dehydration, he said.
While the rest of the baboon troop settled down, the male “moved from branch to branch, grooming and carrying the cub for a long period of time,” Schultz said. “The cub seemed very exhausted.”
Schultz and others on safaris in the park watched the rare sight and took photographs.
“I don’t see a chance of this poor cub surviving. The troop of baboons was large and a lion would not be able to get the young back,” Schultz said. “Nature is cruel at most times and the survival of a young predator cub is not easy. The lion cub would pose a threat to the baboons when it gets older. I have witnessed baboons viciously killing leopard cubs and have heard of baboons killing lion cubs.”


Skeptic of world being round dies in California rocket crash

Updated 24 February 2020

Skeptic of world being round dies in California rocket crash

  • “Mad” Mike Hughes said he wanted to fly to the edge of outer space to see if the world is round
  • His home-built rocket blasted off into the desert sky and plunged back to earth in California

BARSTOW, California: A California man who said he wanted to fly to the edge of outer space to see if the world is round has died after his home-built rocket blasted off into the desert sky and plunged back to earth.
“Mad” Mike Hughes was killed on Saturday afternoon after his rocket crashed on private property near Barstow, California.
Waldo Stakes, a colleague who was at the rocket launch, said Hughes, 64, was killed.

"Mad" Mike Hughes. (Science Channel/via REUTERS/File photo)
 


The Science Channel said on Twitter it had been chronicling Hughes’ journey and that “thoughts & prayers go out to his family & friends during this difficult time.”
“It was always his dream to do this launch,” the Twitter message said.
Hughes also was a limousine driver, who held the Guinness world record for “longest limousine ramp jump,” for jumping 103 feet (31 meters) in a Lincoln Town Car stretch limousine, at a speedway in 2002.
A video on TMZ.com showed the rocket taking off, with what appears to be a parachute tearing off during the launch. The steam-powered rocket streaks upward, then takes around 10 seconds to fall straight back to earth. Shrieks can be heard as the rocket plows into the desert.

Freelance journalist Justin Chapman, who was at the scene, said the rocket appeared to rub against the launch apparatus, which might have caused the mishap with the parachute.
In March 2018, Hughes propelled himself about 1,875 feet (570 meters) into the air. He deployed one parachute and then a second one but still had a hard landing in the Mojave Desert in California, and injured his back.
“This thing wants to kill you 10 different ways,” Hughes said after that launch. “This thing will kill you in a heartbeat.”
He said in a video that his goal was to eventually fly to the edge of outer space to determine for himself whether the world is round.
“I don’t want to take anyone else’s word for it,” he said in the video, posted on the BBC News website. “I don’t know if the world is flat or round.”
In another video posted on his YouTube site, Hughes said he also wanted “to convince people they can do things that are extraordinary with their lives.”
“My story really is incredible,” Hughes once told The Associated Press. “It’s got a bunch of story lines — the garage-built thing. I’m an older guy. It’s out in the middle of nowhere, plus the Flat Earth. The problem is it brings out all the nuts also.”