A dog at a German zoo is helping to rear Bengal tiger cub twins which were abandoned by their mother soon after birth, Safaripark Stukenbrock in northern Germany said on Monday (November 28).
One-month-old Peach and Pearl, born over the course of about an hour, were immediately rejected by their mother, said keeper Jeannette Wurms.
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Ever since, the tiger cubs have lived in the keeper's living room on the zoo's premises.
Wurms' dog 'Leon' quickly adopted the role of surrogate mother, acting as educator and entertainer, she said.
Both Wurms and her dog Leon have reared tiger and lion cubs before.
While she might be envied by many, Wurms says these are not pets but but animals of prey.
Apart from the tiring feeding hours, Wurms warned that once the cubs get bigger they can react unexpectedly and humans cannot deal with their violence and their strength.
According to Wurms, caressing the animals through the bars still allows for close contact without endangering keepers' lives.