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Dog and the (big) cats who're best of friends: Abandoned cubs saved from starvation by stand-in mother


Maternal instinct: These two rare liger cubs would have died were it not for the milk from this dog, who has become their adopted mother

Cats and dogs usually fight like the proverbial... cats and dogs.

But these touching pictures show that maternal instincts can conquer all prejudices.

These two rare cubs born to a male lion and a female tiger are being nursed by a dog after they were abandoned by their mother.

Cute: The two liger cubs are held up by a feeder

The cubs, known as ligers, were born earlier this month at Xixiakou Wildlife Zoo in Shandong province, eastern China.

Their parents mated naturally after living together for six years.

But their mother, a Manchurian tiger called Hua Hua, stopped feeding the cubs after a few days, and two died for want of nutrition.

Staff at the Zoo found the dog, who had just given birth, to feed the surviving pair.

Happy family: The cubs suck milk alongside their new siblings

Zoo spokesman Cong Wen said the cubs had a little trouble getting used to the dog's milk at first.

But now they've warmed to their adopted mother and happily drink next to their new brothers and sisters.

Ligers are rare and exist only in captivity because the habitats of the parental species do not overlap in the wild.

Single life: The cubs' mother, a Manchurian tiger called Hua Hua, abandoned them after a couple of days

source: dailymail