Nursing dog cares for extremely rare tiger cubs at Cincinnati Zoo (PHOTOS, VIDEOS)
The three female cubs, Chira, Batari and Izzy were born on February 3, 2017 and are among the last in the world, with the global Malayan tiger population currently below 500, which is why the work that the Cincinnati zookeepers do is so crucial to saving the species from extinction.
Good morning! Look who has their eyes open now! 😻 Three Malayan tiger cubs were born on Friday, February 3, and are now being cared for in the Zoo’s nursery after their first-time mom Cinta’s maternal instincts did not kick in. Malayan tigers are critically endangered with fewer than 500 left in the world. #cincinnati #cincinnatizoo #closeenoughtocare #tiger #tigercubs #conservation #savingspecies
The zookeepers don’t have to go it alone, however, as their six-year-old Australian shepherd Blakely is always willing to take care of unwanted pups, cubs and young ’uns of all shapes, sizes and breeds.
His rather extensive and impressive childminding resume includes several Cheetahs:
The premature cheetah cubs have finally reached the 1kg weight milestone so the slow (and supervised!) introduction to the older male cub from Oregon has begun! The older cub was gentle with the little ones and saved his energy for companion dog Blakely. All four cubs will eventually become ambassadors for their endangered species! #CincinnatiZoo #cincinnati #savingspecies #conservation #closeenoughtocare #cheetah #cheetahcubs #zoobabies
He has also helped raise an aardvark named Diggy:
Diggy the aardvark is receiving TLC from our nursery staff and Blakely (the canine caregiver) after Zoo vets took care of a tooth issue that was causing swelling in the 22-yr-old aardvark’s cheek. Vets say that he’s healing remarkably well for an older animal! #TLC #cincinnatizoo #closeenoughtocare #blakelyanddiggy #aardvark #dog #dogsofinstagram #AustralianShepherd #cincinnati
He even made time in his busy schedule for this gorgeous ocelot named Santos:
Blakely has also been known to care for takins, warthogs, wallabies, skunks and even bat-eared foxes.
Parents around the world will wonder where Blakely gets such amazing energy and patience from, but Cincinnati zookeepers can only look on in awe as he helps raise such a diverse range of cuddly and curious creatures.
Here he is in action with the three latest additions to Cincinnati’s atypical tiger family: