Despite being ill-equipped to take care of its basic needs, a female baboon took a liking to a kitten which accidentally wondered into its area in the Kibbutz Nir Eliyahu zoo last week.

The baboon made a snap decision to adopt the kitten and didn’t leave it alone for a moment, zoo staff said.

“The kitten was starved and exhausted, and did not eat from the moment it entered the cage.

Its attempts to reach food failed as it was picked up by the female baboon every time it wondered off,” the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Israel said.

Tamar Federman of the Ben Shemen Monkey Park arrived at the kibbutz last Thursday and was joined by Eyal Gatanyo, of the society, and the Agriculture Ministry’s Dr. Dganit Ben-Dov. Together the team of experts began an operation to rescue the kitten.

Exploiting a rare moment when the kitten and the baboon were standing at opposite ends of the cage, a gate separating the two areas was lowered.

The dehydrated kitten was given liquids and nutrients and received medical treatment. It is now waiting for a warm family to adopt it.

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