Shelley Mamott, Staff Writer
Keepers of a zoo in Sochi, Russia were thrilled when a rare Siberian tiger gave birth to two baby cubs. But sadly, the cubs’ mother refused to feed them and that’s when an unlikely candidate stepped in to take her place. The cubs were adopted by a Shar-Pei named Cleopatra, who just had a litter of her own. Cleopatra freely accepted them and now breastfeeds and cleans the two tigers named Clyopa and Plyusha as her own.
Cleopatra the Shar Pei feeds her two adoptive cubs
The cubs were born in May in a zoo at the Oktyabrsky health resort in the Black Sea resort of Sochi. The pair now live with Cleopatra, her puppies, and a cat called Masyanya in a house in Sochi, Russia, with owner Yekaterina Khodakova. The cubs play and lie around the house just like regular cats.
Siberian tiger cub Plyusha gets the better of Shar-Pei puppy
Zoo assistant director Viktoria Kudlayeva said, “She accepted them right away, she’s cleaning them and breast feeding them as if they were her own. And they also sleep together.”
Kudlayeva said that even though the cubs are already showing their claws and hissing, they pose no danger to the dog. “They aren’t aggressive and they depend on her for feeding,” she said.
Yekaterina Khodakova looks after all the pets, as well as her 18-month-old son Gleb