The staff members at Oktyabrsky zoo in Sochi, Russia, had quite a pickle on their hands earlier this month, when Bagira the tigress left her adorable cubs on their own after they were born.
Oh, to have such a problem, you know?
The staffers weren’t too surprised. Some of them even expected it. Bagira, you see, did this very thing just five months ago, when she left a different set of adorable cubs on their own after they were born. The zoo seems to be overflowing with Bagira’s cubs.
The staff talked to the other tigers, but none would agree to be a surrogate mom for Bagira; they did this to teach Bagira a lesson about nurturing and responsibility (we think). A dog named Tallim overheard all this, and being a Swiss Shepard, agreed to nurse the cubs — provided her bowls of food started to include chunks of fresh meat (again, speculation).
In any case, we do know that Tallim the Brave entered the nursing pen with a strong heart. The cubs “bared their claws and hissed” at Tallim, according to The Telegraph, which seems like a reasonable thing to do. Tallim was unbowed. The cubs dropped the act and scampered over, and they enjoyed a long, warm drinks of milk from a slightly shellshocked Tallim.
Eventually, everybody relaxed and started acting like nothing was amiss. And perhaps it isn’t. All the cubs are feeding, and Tallim, now the official adoptive mom for the boys Olymp and Dar as well as a female named Talli, nuzzles and cuddles the cubs as if they were her own.
As for Bagira the tigress, she is sitting near a tree in the hazy light of the zoo at dusk, eyeing a lone male drinking from a water feature. His shoulders are strong. She wanders over for a look.