Since “Dong Dong” stepped into her adulthood in 2006, she has given birth to more than ten tiger cubs and nicknamed, “Hero Tiger Mom” by staff at the Hefei Wildlife Zoo.
On May 4, 2012, “Hero Tiger Mom” gave birth again and her maternal instincts were so strong that the zoo can’t find a “dog nanny” for her cubs.
To protect them, zoo visitors must wait a few days to see the cubs.
“Hero Tiger Mom” gave birth to four cubs, but there are only two in good health, while the other two were born stillborn.
Although, “Dong Dong” gave birth to many cubs, she has trouble to take care of them. After each delivery the cubs get taken from her and adopted by a “dog nanny”.
However, “Dong Dong” has demonstrated her strong maternal instincts and seeks to care for her cubs.
According to Hefei Wildlife Zoo staff, “Dong Dong” has already fed them with her milk and if everything goes well, their mother could care for them.
The delivery room must remain quiet when a tiger gives birth, or the mother tiger will feel a loss of safety and hold the cub by her teeth and walk around, sometimes even biting them to death by accident.
Besides, mother tiger can only identify her cub by its smell. She doesn’t allow others to touch them.
If the cubs get touched and stained with other odors, the mother tiger would believe it was not her cub, and would no longer care for them.
Outside visits are prohibited before a female tiger gives birth. After delivery, all except for the breeders cannot visit or take pictures.