The Labrador who nursed a tiger cub to health at Indore zoo

  • Vinit Kumar Koneru, Hindustan Times, Indore
  • Updated: May 13, 2015 19:22 IST

Lucky had little chances of survival after being rejected by his mother soon after birth at Indore zoo, but for Jimmy, who let the infant suckle on her.

That was eight months back. Now Lucky is not just healthy, but have outgrown his foster mother by a couple of kilograms.

This heart wrenching story becomes more congenial as the protagonists here are a tiger cub and a Labrador.

To celebrate this quixotic motherly love, Kamla Nehru Zoo authorities in Indore on Sunday organised a special mother's day programme on Sunday.

"Lucky was just a vulnerable cub when he was born in the Indore zoo. He would have met the fate of his siblings, had we left him with his mother.

He was raised by the Labrador, which nursed him with her milk and like her own kid," Dr Uttam Yadav, zoo in-charge, told Hindustan Times.

The three siblings of the tiger cub were killed by their mother due to mishandling.

Lucky too had sustained some wounds as his mother accidentally jabbed her teeth on his tender body.

Fearing the aggressive nature of the tigress, the zoo keepers separated Lucky from his mother and from their Jimmy took over his responsibility.

"Jimmy is a very fine mother. After raising Lucky, she at present is nursing a barking deer, which lost its mother in the forest," said Rakesh, the zoo keeper.

"It is an extraordinary sight to watch Jimmy frolic around with Lucky and her other foster cubs. Visitors also get amazed to see their love and affection."

After the success of Lucky-Jimmy experiment, the city zoo authorities have tried to repeat the feat with other foundling animals.

At present, a jackal puppy has been put under the care of a German Shepherd, a wild kitten is being nursed by a White Persian Cat, while a few Nilgai calves and a chinkara calf are suckling on a goat.

The orphans were brought to the Indore zoo after being rescued by forest officials recently.

"They all are special mothers. We learn a new definition of motherhood from these animals," the zoo in-charge said.

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