A lucky cub was rescued by zookeepers and was forced to live with a golden retriever, Tessa, after the mother leopard ate three of her remaining babies.
Milasha, the endangered cub, shared a special bond with her foster parent, Tessa, who she was living with in a Russian Zoo. The Sadgorod Zoo in Vladivostok decided to put the cub with Tessa, after her mother took the lives of the other cubs.
Tessa is a mother of four puppies of her own, but has a special bond with the leopard cub.
Milasha has a unique love for the canines and likes to play with her new pal, Elza, the Central Asian Shepherd Dog.
According to Milasha’s trainer, Viktor Agafonov, the cub is infatuated towards its new doggy-friend and feels comfortable and safe around it, as she has been raised by a dog.
Although, the cub has also been paired with other lioness and tigress, but the friendship with Elza has been special.
For Milasha’s development, as her species is endangered, the zoo authorities decided to place the cub with other animals of her own size to play along with.
While talking to CCTV+ Mr. Agafonov said,
“Although it seems these are both big cats, their behavior is completely different. The tigress is quieter. But the lioness … most of the time she keeps jogging and playing.”
In terms of safety, because of Elza’s “good-breed” trait, her temperament and size makes it a better option for the cub to live with her.
Cross-fostering is defined as a very common practice where when the animal parent rejects their kids, they are separately placed to be raised by other animals.
Initially, the Sadogorod Zoo decided to put Milasha with the golden retriever for her own safety.
In regards to the leopard, Agafonov said, ‘We can’t say for sure why this happened. But we decided not to risk another baby.’
In the animal kingdom, mother usually eat their babies when they are severely sick or are deformed. Other times, they devour their own children due to lack of food.