Thursday, June 08, 2006

Surrogate Mothers

A friend sent through some amazing pics of a rather unorthodox Tiger family that live at a california zoo. This beautiful tiger had just given birth to tiger triplets (very rare) who sadly didn't make it for too long after the birth. The Zoo keepers noticed their tiger girl was very flat after the death of her babies and although there was nothing wrong with her physically it seemed that she was in a deep state of grief after losing her cubs. A surrogate solution was propsed but funnily enough there weren't too many orphaned baby tigers available for the gig at the time.

Someone suggested a small litter of baby pigs, who were dressed up in little tiger coats and the results were spectacular. Check this very proud mother and her funny looking little babies.

This story reminded me of our time at the animal park in Bolivia where I was told that Roy - one of the biggest and most boisterous Pumas at the park was brought up as an orphaned cub in the house where the volunteers lived. Roy, who at the time was small, fuzzy and very cute was adopted by one of the house dogs, Yeti, a funny little thing, took it upon herself to be Roys surrogate mother. She played with Roy, wrestled with him, slept with him and even groomed him. I am guessing she was also doing her little bit for international cat / dog relations - nice work.

Of course Roy grew up to be 5 times the size of Yeti and was evicted from living in the house to his current jungle lair after the skulls of two monkeys were found hidden in his bed...whoops.

But I wonder if he still holds fond memories for his little canine mother Yeti?


Blogger Di said...

Thanks so much for sharing the story Kate. Great job! It really was worth sharing.Thanks also to Jan for sending the Tiger piglet story to me.

5:54 PM  

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