Dog takes over as tiger cubs’ ‘nanny’ at Cincinnati Zoo

In this photo provided by the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, a female Malayan tiger cub peeks out from between an Australian shepherd named Blakely and a large stuffed animal resembling a tiger on Thursday, March 9, 2017, in the zoo's nursery in Cincinnati. The mother's maternal instincts didn't kick in after three Malayan tiger cubs were born Feb. 3, 2017, and the 6-year-old male dog provides snuggling, warmth and a climbable body. (Dawn Strasser/Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden via AP)
(Source: AP)

CINCINNATI (AP) — The Cincinnati Zoo has called again on a canine to play the role of nanny for other animals’ babies.

The latest assignment for Blakely the Australian shepherd is to be a companion for three Malayan tiger cubs. Their mother’s maternal instincts didn’t kick in after their Feb. 3 birth, and zoo staffers have been caring for them.

The 6-year-old male dog provides snuggling, warmth and a climbable body.

(Source: AP)

Dawn Strasser, head of the Cincinnati Zoo’s nursery staff, says Blakely serves as “the adult in the room,” teaching them behaviors such as checking them when they get too rough or aggressive.

The cubs are expected to move into the zoo’s Cat Canyon this summer.

Blakely has helped raise baby cheetahs, wallabies, bat-eared foxes, and an ocelot, among other young animals.


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