Tessa, a golden retriever from Vladivostok, Russia, has her litter of four baby puppies to care for, but she is also a loving foster mom for a rare newborn Amur leopard cub from the Sadgorod Zoo. With a combination of rabbit meat, formula, and Tessa’s milk and tender care, the little female cub is alive and well.
The Amur leopard is an endangered species, with only 57 living in the world as of 2015. The Sadgorod Zoo decided to remove the cub from her mother because of her mother’s history of cannibalizing her litters. “We can’t say for sure why this happened. But we decided not to risk another baby,” said zoo veterinarian Viktor Agafonov.
There are a variety of reasons why a mother leopard might eat her cubs, ranging from if the cubs are born deformed or diseased to whether there is enough food for them.