Shar Pei Becomes Surrogate Mom To Tiger Cubs
Good news: An Amur tiger, one of the rarest on earth, gave birth to a pair of cubs in Sochi, Russia, about six weeks ago.
Bad news: The mother tiger refused to feed her cubs.
Good news: The zoo found Cleopatra, a Shar Pei who had recently had a litter of puppies, owned by Yekaterina Khodakova.
Great news: Cleopatra immediately accepted the two tiger cubs as her own and has been nursing them. The above video shows Cleopatra and the tiger cubs, with adorable footage of them learning to get on their feet and snuggling up with the Shar Pei pups.
Quips SFGate: "Now the Amur cubs, dubbed Clyopa and Plyusha, think they're dogs."
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According to estimates from the World Conservation Society, there are fewer than 3,500 Amur or Siberian tigers in the wild, with only about 1,000 of those breeding females. In the Russian Far East, there are several hundred tigers. But their numbers have been drastically reduced in China, from 300 (in the 1940s) to only 18 to 22.
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