This tiger cub was in need of some love after his mother rejected him. His caretaker introduced a puppy to him and an unlikely friendship blossomed!
Born at The Farm Inn Wildlife Sanctuary in Pretoria, South Africa, a three-month-old tiger cub named Hunter, forged a friendship with a puppy that was three weeks older than him.
The adorable tiger cub did not have a good start in life. It was taken away from his mother at birth after she started displaying aggressive behavior towards him.
“We believe that Hunter was born at a time when the female must have felt compromised in some way as she rejected him. Her actions toward him were threatening his survival so we intervened for the greater of his well being,” said Anthea Michaletos, who lives at the sanctuary.
Anthea decided to pair him up with a German Pointer puppy, named Chelsea. The duo soon became inseparable as they started playing and going for walks together.
“In the mornings when I take Chelsea out, she will run to his cage and greet him. There is a lot of wrestling involved, Chelsea pushes him over and then he jumps on her,” she said.
“For him to have a four legged friend is very helpful because he can play in the same way that he would with another litter mate. He was the only cub in his litter and it’s very important for him to have a companion,” explained Anthea.
Each day, the two friends have to be separated and taken back to their own cages, but Chelsea can’t get enough of her tiger friend.
“When I say okay, play time is over and I put Hunter away she’ll go stand there for at least five minutes—wagging her tail. It’s almost like she’s saying no, I’m not done playing,” said Anthea.
“I have to wrangle her back to the house,” she added.
The happy times will not last long. Once Hunter reaches six-months-old, they will need to be separated for Chelsea’s safety.
“If he does get Chelsea down, I do get a bit worried because he goes for the throat. But, she never cries, she cries immediately when she’s in discomfort and wriggles around. So, she’ll let me know if she’s not okay,” said Anthea.
“I think six-months will be enough for them—that’s when they tend to get a bit boisterous and start to play too hard,” she added.
Photo credit: Youtube Screenshot | Barcroft TV