Tiger Cub Bonds With Pittsburgh Zoo Handler’s Dog

Avatar BCR | July 12, 2008 1 View 0 Likes 0 Ratings

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Tiger Cub Bonds With Pittsburgh Zoo Handler’s Dog

The Pittsburgh Zoo’s tiger cub has bonded with Bella the black lab

Zoo To Hand-Raise Cub
Zoo Babies: Cuteness Unleashed

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) ? Visitors to the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium got a glimpse of one of its newest additions today; the Amur tiger cub made one of his first public appearances since he was born on Mother’s Day.

Zoo employees have been hand-raising the male cub since his mother rejected him shortly after his May 11th birth.

Kathy Suthard, the zoo’s lead carnivore keeper, has been taking the cub home on weekends; and during that time, the cub formed an unlikely friendship with her Labrador Retriever, “Bella.”

Suthard says the cub quickly cuddled up with her dog and the pair would often take naps together.

Bella has become a surrogate mom of sorts. “When he cried,” Suthard explains, “she became very concerned and would spend time with him.”

“When we’re in the car they sit together on the back seat,” she adds, “and I’ve seen them playing back there! Or if the baby gets tired he curls up between Bella and the seat.”

Tipping the scales at just 15-pounds now, the cub is still eating baby food; but meat will soon be on the menu in a few more weeks.

Zoo officials say the cub will be out in his yard from 11am until 2pm for a while. Since he’s just a baby, though, keepers will be keeping a close eye on him and making any adjustments to that time frame as needed.

The zoo says visitors who want to make sure the cub will be out can call ahead on the day they plan to visit.


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