Meet the world's best animal nanny and his three adopted tiger cubs
Three rare Malayan tiger cubs have been adopted by a dog at Cincinnati Zoo after they were rejected by their mother.
The female cubs – named Chira, Batari and Izzy – were born on February 3 and taken into the care of the zoo’s nursery team, including Blakely the Australian Shepherd.
Blakely has been helping the cubs to feel secure by being there for cuddles and climbing on.
“My team can feed and care for the tiger cubs, but we can’t teach them the difference between a play bite and one that means ‘watch out’. So, that’s Blakely’s job,” said Dawn Strasser, head of Cincinnati Zoo’s nursery staff.
“Just a little time with him at this early age will help them learn behaviours that will come in handy when they meet tigers at other zoos in the future.”
This isn’t the first time the Australian Shepherd has played the role of nanny. He has also taken care of cheetahs, an ocelot, a takin, a warthog, wallabies, skunks, and bat-eared foxes.
His skills are so famed that he has his own day; Blakely Day is October 19.