An unexpected family is flourishing in Sochi, Russia, as a Shar-Pei dog named Cleopatra has taken on the role of mother to two abandoned Siberian tiger cubs.
The situation presented itself when the biological mother neglected the newborn cubs at the local zoo.
Cleopatra, already a new mother to a litter of her puppies, didn’t hesitate to take in the orphaned tiger cubs Clyopa and Plyusha.
Exhibiting remarkable maternal instincts, she promptly stepped in to feed and clean the helpless duo, fully embracing them as part of her pack.
The new, unconventional family now shares a home in Western Sochi. Their house is also home to Masyanya the cat and their owner, Yekaterina Khodakova.
The tiger cubs are typical youngsters, frolicking around the house, engaging in playful bouts with their canine siblings, and enjoying their adopted mother’s care.
The miraculous story started in late May at the Oktyabrsky Health Resort’s zoo in Sochi, where the cubs were born.
The zoo’s assistant director, Viktoria Kudlayeva, revealed Cleopatra’s immediate fondness for the tiger cubs. She reported that the protective dog treats the cubs as her own, even going to sleep with them.
Despite the young tigers showing early signs of their wild nature, such as baring their claws and hissing, Kudlayeva reassures that they pose no threat to their adoptive mother.
The bond between the dog and her adopted tiger cubs remains strong, as the cubs rely on Cleopatra for nourishment and care.
This heartwarming tale carries a sobering undertone, considering the plight of Siberian tigers, also referred to as Ussuri, Amur, or Manchurian tigers.
With fewer than 400 left in the wild, primarily in Russia’s Far East, the survival of these cubs is crucial for the species.
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