Awkward Fostering

It turns out that people are not the only ones, who can adopt children – animals are good at this as well. Especially it is associated with dogs, which may raise kids of other species and even of scary and dangerous representatives of wildlife!

One of the recent developments, which caught an eye of many pet-lovers, is an adoption of three newly born tigers by German shepherd in Chinese Reserve on January 2012. Their biological mother was pretty weaken after the third delivery in a period of six months, but it does not mean that little kids are left without maternal custody – the shepherd takes care of them as they are her real babies; besides, one of the children is very interesting representative of tiger species – it was born without any stripes! One can only imagine how adorable and lovely the picture of shepherd and three little tigers is!

Although, it is not for the first time when inter-species adoption occurs, but every single case is getting more and more exciting – animals can not only be friends, but parents and brothers as well. Dogs are likely to be true-born wet-nurses; in particular, it is related to whelp dogs, which are often used as step-mothers for young predators in the Zoos. There are several really surprising and breathtaking examples to pay attention to.

Golden retriever Isabella appears to be a mother of three Bengal tiger cubs, whose biological mom gave up on them 15 hours later after the delivery. Tom Harvy, the holder of the Kansas Zoo, stated that Isabella managed to perform all her maternal duties: she did not notice the difference between species, feeding, cleaning and licking the cubs permanently. This case has strongly fascinated the publicity, which led to publishing the book about this awkward family – Tiger-Pups. To preserve the origin of little tigers, they received names, which completely correspond to their Indian roots – Nasira, Anjika and Siddhani.

In the list of famous step-mothers one might learn about real Angelina Jolie – Labrador Lisha, which does not have any puppies, but has already become fosterer for 30 different animals including a baby hippo and porcupine, and now she takes care of three tiger cubs. According to the words of her master Rob Hall, the holder of Cango Wildlife Ranch in South Africa, her maternal skills were observed since Lisha’s first days in conservation.

In 2006, in Yalta private zoo (Ukraine) two white lions were left without mother’s care. Elsa, the lioness, gave birth prematurely as she experienced a deep fear during the fire in Crimean natural preserve. In a stress condition maternal instinct has failed, and she refused to nurse the cubs. Fortunately, this task successfully was performed by shepherd Gerry: she took care of little lions for two months, making no distinction between them and her puppies.

The most spectacular case was in Krasnoyarsk Zoo (Russia), where people could watch the life of very interesting and strange family, consisting of four puma cubs, stray dog Mary and baby-badger. Puma rejected her children and they were given to Mary. Later, little badger found himself in the same situation: Mary did not accept him immediately, but eventually she received the fifth kid.
People could speak in metaphors about friendship between wild and domestic animals; they can notice this phenomenon on medieval canvases or watch it in cartoons, but these cases evidence of their possible occurrence in a real life, and even very successful!