Awwwwwww …

by Lorien E. Menhennett

Do you like children?

A momma velvet monkey, with her baby clinging to her chest, came down out of a tree when Joseph proffered a tempting banana.

A momma velvet monkey, with her baby clinging to her chest, came down out of a tree when Joseph proffered a tempting banana.

My safari guide, Joseph, asked me this question (I’m paraphrasing) during our six-hour drive from Kampala to Queen Elizabeth National Park. It’s a fair question. I’m almost 35 years old, and I don’t have any kids. I am not in a position to have kids right now, or anytime soon — maybe ever. I’m fine with that.

I told Joseph quite emphatically that I do like children. At this point in my life though, I enjoy playing with them, and then returning them to their parents. Joseph said he would make a prayer for me to have a baby. His prayers were answered over the next several days, though not in the way he anticipated. During my four-day safari, I saw dozens of baby animals: elephants, hippos, pumbas (warthogs), kob (antelope), velvet monkeys, baboons, and chimpanzees. Seeing all of these little ones — well, some of them were quite big — was one of the highlights of my safari adventure.

Funny how a several hundred pound baby elephant can be considered “cute.” But I’ve always loved miniatures. I even collected tiny figurines as a kid. And I guess a baby elephant is a miniature compared to its parents.

Here are a few photos of the baby animals I encountered. They were all adorable. But I reeeeaaaallllly wanted to take one of the baby monkeys home with me. Just look at those faces!

A baby elephant nursing! I saw this amazing sight while on a boat cruise.

A baby elephant nursing! I saw this amazing sight while on a boat cruise.

 

A baby baboon riding on its mother's back.

A baby baboon riding on its mother’s back, little bare rump exposed.

 

A baby hippopotamus next to its mother.

A baby hippopotamus next to its mother (to the right).

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