After they were rejected by their mother shortly after their birth 10 days ago, they are being nursed by a generous farm dog instead.
The unusual adoptive mother is called Hunai and is expected to nurse the cubs at the Jinan Paomaling Wild Animal World in Shandong province for about a month, until their appetites outpace her supply, manager Chen Yucai said.
Chen said it was common for Chinese zoos to use surrogate dog mothers to nurse rejected tiger cubs and Huani had nursed tigers from Paomaling before.
So far the cubs have not been named and are simply called “One,” “Two” and “Three.” Paomaling has previously put dog urine on rejected cubs’ fur to make the surrogate think she was nursing her own puppies, but the zoo didn’t bother with the urine this time because Huani seemed not to mind nursing the tigers.
“The family is getting along well and seems to enjoy each other,” Chen said.