It’s a sweet scene right out of a storybook: A fuzzy white monkey playfully climbs over the backs and heads of two patient buffalo calves, snuggling into their necks and even grooming behind their ears with his tiny hands.
Orphaned after his mother died, Zumzum, a baby vervet monkey, didn’t take long to befriend the calves — and being orphans themselves, the young buffalos, who were saved from drought and bushmeat poachers, have welcomed the small primate as one of their own. The unlikely trio are being hand-raised and rehabilitated at the Lamu Conservation Trust (LCT), a conservation initiative in Kenya supported by The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (DSWT).
“Despite being different species, whether they have hooves or hands, the animals have suffered the same trauma and heartbreak,” Amie Alden, communications officer at DSWT, told The Dodo. “Providing a secure environment for them to overcome trauma is vital — and, naturally, friendships help overcome hardships.”