Saturday, July 08, 2006

weekend cuteness

In a zoo in California, a mother tiger gave birth to a rare set of triplet tiger cubs.

Unfortunately, due to complications in the pregnancy, the cubs were born pre-maturely and due to their tiny size, they died shortly after
birth. The mother tiger, after recovering from the delivery, suddenly started to decline in health, although physically she was fine.

The veterinarians felt that the loss of Her litter had caused the tigress to fall into a depression.The doctors decided that if the tigress could surrogate another mother's cubs, perhaps she would improve.
After checking with many other zoos across the country, the depressing news was that there were no tiger cubs of the right age to introduce
to the mourning mother.

The veterinarians decided to try something that had never been tried in a zoo environment. Sometimes a mother of one species will take on
the care of a different species. The only "orphans" that could be found quickly, were a litter of wiener pigs.


Helen Brenna said...

Oh ... my ... god! That has to be one of the sadest/sweetest things I've ever seen. Where do you get this stuff, Anne?

That mothering instinct is pretty strong, huh?

anne said...

helen, my daughter emailed that to me. pretty cute. i see the photo date is 2004. wonder what the updated story is. maybe we don't want to know!

Kathleen Eagle said...

Awwww... That is so cute. The tiger outfits are fake, right? Because we used to ranch, and when one cow rejected a calf and another lost one, somebody (not me) would skin the dead calf and apply the skin to the orphan. This spring we had a mare who had her own foal take on another. We don't know whether she stole him--she's a big, bossy mare--or adopted him after a rejection. There's a picture on my web site.

anne said...

kathleen, i would imagine they're wearing the actual skins of the dead cubs.
we used to do the same thing with calves too. it's pretty amazing how quickly the mother will accept another baby. i do recall a few cows that took a day or two, but most were almost immediate. i also remember one cow that never fell for it. i think her own calf had lived a week or so, which makes it harder.

Anne McAllister said...

pigs in tiger suits? Amazing!