While on a safari, there are many sights that one can see. On the first day out in the rich wilderness of Masai Mara, we had the opportunity to witness a very lovely sight that would only later turn into a rather brutal kill.
With the sun setting low, and the hues of the sky blessing us with the most beautiful backdrop, we saw a Mother Topi feeding her calf. As serene and motherly as it looked and felt—understanding how a mother’s love prevails in every form of life, it was just that cruel to see how true a mother’s love actually is. Because, while on one side the mother Topi wanted her calf fed and taken care of, the predator Jackals—the other characters of this story—on the other hand, wanted the same for their offspring as well. The scenes that then spilled before the groups’ eyes were indeed very gruesome and gut wrenching to watch and imbibe. To feed and sustain their family, the two Jackals having spotted an opening for a perfect opportunity, schemed to prey on the Topi calf that was very innocently being fed by its mother.
Jackals, being inherently smart and intelligent animals, set up a distraction for the Topi mother and calf, and the mother, only looking out for the safety of her calf, fell for it. While one Jackal came close to her calf, she would try to distract it by leading it in the opposite direction, so as to give her calf a chance to escape. But when the mother was some distance away, the other Jackal, having established after the first attempt that the calf was too young to try to escape without any help, would run towards the calf and try to kill it. While this went on for about an hour, both the mother and the calf were left defenseless against their cruel predators.
While this deceitful trick executed by the Jackals went on for about an hour, they tried to cause as much damage as possible to the calf in order to weaken it beyond recovery. However, in an alternative universe that should have otherwise had a happy ending, by some forlorn twist of fate, the mother who was only trying her best to save her calf, ended up missing her aim targeted at the Jackals and ended up hitting her own calf instead.
In the vicious food chain that prevails in a jungle, carnivores prey on herbivores and depend on them for their survival and sustainability. Every mother, thus, has to feed her offspring and protect it from any harm that may come its way. After watching her own offspring die in front of her very own eyes, there was nothing else that the mother could do, apart from watching her calf being devoured by the cruel predators, to be fed to their own offspring.
While this story could be looked at from two different ways, one of the Topi mother trying to protect her calf, and the other of the Jackals completing a successful kill, what struck us out the most about this incident was how at the end of the day, both the Jackal and the Topi mother were only trying to feed their offspring, protect them from danger and help them survive.