Abandoned tiger cub cared for by vets
February 25, 2009
(NECN: Israel) - You could say Sylvester the tiger's life is charmed. Born on New Year's Eve, he escaped death at the hands of his mother, a Sumatran tiger at Jerusalem's Biblical Zoo, who is known to eat her cubs.
She abandoned Sylvester and his brother at 10 days old.
Veterinarians didn't want to intervene and were willing to let nature take its course, but sympathy swept over them and they moved in to save the cubs.
But when they did, Sylvester was the only who had survived without his mother's care.
While Sylvester had survived the odds, he needed around the clock support as a young cub.
And without his mother to look after him, the feeding, care and, of course, love, had to come from another source.
Three veterinarians at the zoo took it upon themselves to be surrogate mothers and provide him with all he needed in the early stages of life.
For two months, Sylvester has lived at the homes of the three vets, becoming very much a part of the families he has lived with. The three would rotate tiger-sitting duties every few days.
At the home of Nili Avni Magen, one of the vets, Sylvester would romp around with her children and play with his stuffed leopard until he was moved to the next veterinarian's house.
Veterinarian Liz Kaufman said he became a part of her family over the course of the two months.
Sylvester's luxurious living arrangements ended this week as the doctors have returned him to the zoo,