Cincinnati Zoo’s rare tiger cubs get an unusual nanny

(NBC NEWS) — After their mother rejected them, three rare tiger cubs got a surrogate mom of a different stripe.

The one-month-old Malayan cubs are learning the ropes from an Australian Shepherd named Blakely.

The Cincinnati Zoo matched the 6-year-old canine with the newborn felines so he could teach them tiger etiquette.

One important lesson for the rambunctious trio is the difference between a play bite and one that means “watch out!”

Blakely is no stranger to surrogacy.

He’s also helped zoo handlers nurture cheetahs, skunks, and a warthog.

The cubs will move to the zoo’s cat canyon this summer.

Meanwhile, they’ll live with their canine chaperone, who they will definitely outgrow eventually.

Stay with WFLA News Channel 8’s Lila Gross for more trending and social media news. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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