Yesterday we showcased some of the world's most eccentric interspecies adoptions. From picking up chicks to big cat wrangling, Part II of our Mother's Day Interspecies Adoption Special looks at the adoption habits of man's best friend.
In China, a chihuahua named HuaHua has adopted a chick. For whatever reason, the dog began to take care of the bird almost immediately after it was brought home. When the chick strays too far from it's cot, HuaHua scoops the bird up in her mouth and walks the chick back to safety. As you can see, the chick looks delighted with this arrangement.
Dogs and birds are a pretty popular pairing. Young birds imprint on the first species they interact with after birth, so in many cases the birds begin to believe that the dog is their mother. Ben the Border Collie lets ducklings snuggle up next to him and herds them to safety.
In Seattle, Mademoiselle Giselle, a pregnant dog, adopted Finnegan, a baby squirrel. Owner Debby Cantlon rescued the injured squirrel and Giselle helped her nurse him back to health, making the squirrel part of the litter and even letting him nurse alongside his puppy siblings.
A few months back the Daily Dachshund blog wrote about Tink the wiener dog, who has adopted Pink the piglet. Much brouhaha was had about the legitimacy of the photos, but much like Charlotte's Wilbur, Pink was a preemie piglet and the story has indeed been verified. When Tink the dachshund had given birth a few days earlier, she had only one puppy. Since she was already fostering another dog's puppies, Tink's owner decided to try and see how well she would do with a piglet. A few weeks later, Pink was successfully weaned and put up for adoption.
At Knowsley Safari Park near Liverpool, UK, a rare baby Pere David deer, Mi-Lu, was rejected by his mother since she did not want twins. Luckily, he was adopted by the park dogs, Geoffrey and Kipper. The three sleep and take daily walks together.
6. Tigers (?)
Not to be outdone, several zoos in China allow dogs to nurse baby tigers that have been rejected by their mothers. Dog urine is smeared on the baby tigers' fur to trick the nursing dog. Not to worry—baby tigers are born toothless. This particular dog, Huani, doesn't seem to mind nursing the tigers at all, according to her handlers at the Jinan Paomaling Wild Animal World in Shandong, China.
As for the famous tiger-nursing-piglets photos, they're more staged publicity stunt than actual instinct. (Sorry.)
Drop by again tomorrow for some very less responsive adoptive mothers. Like cleaning brushes.