Golden Retriever Adopts Tiger Cubs

It's pretty common knowledge on Dogster that dogs are wonderful and often lifesaving friends for human beings. They also have a knack for befriending cats...

Dr. Eric Barchas  |  Aug 26th 2008


It’s pretty common knowledge on Dogster that dogs are wonderful and often lifesaving friends for human beings. They also have a knack for befriending cats (some people may doubt this, but anyone who lives with both a dog and a cat knows firsthand that the species can get along). And, as the following brief article from the August 15, 2008 issue of The Week shows, dogs’ good natures can prove beneficial to the largest cats of all.

Only one day after a litter of three white tiger cubs was born at the zoo in Caney, Kan., their mother stopped caring for them. The tiny cubs wandered around helplessly. But zoo owner Tom Harvey had an inspiration: He brought in a Golden Retriever to act as their surrogate mother. The idea worked; the dog, named Isabella, is licking, cleaning, and even nursing the cubs as if they were her own. Harvey said the adoptive mother had just recently weaned her own puppies. “The timing couldn’t have been any better,” he said.

It’s definitely a feel-good story. However, I am slightly troubled by the phrase zoo owner. I hope that the Caney zoo is a fully accredited institution, rather than a private for-profit roadside attraction.

Either way, my hat goes off to Isabella.

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