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Shar-Pei adopts Siberian tigers

Friday, 6th July 2012

A Shar-Pei has adopted two Siberian tiger cubs after their mother refused to feed them at a zoo in Russia.

Cleopatra, the dog, had just had a litter of cubs herself, and took to feeding the two tigers as if they were her own.

Viktoria Kudlayeva, assistant director at the , 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.’

"They aren't aggressive and they depend on her for feeding."

The tigers even share pet toys and play fight with Cleopatra's owner, Yekaterina Khodakova's, other pets, including the Shar-Pei cubs and the cat. 

Altruism of this kind is quite common within the animal kingdom. Dogs often adopt orphaned cats, squirrels, ducks, and now tigers.

In 2007, a Chinese dog called Huani adopted three tiger cubs that were born in a zoo in the Shandong province. They had been rejected by their mother shortly after their birth.