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.
Tessa's role in what is known as cross-fostering is not unusual in the least. She has proven to be an excellent foster mother and has helped this cub survive the first weeks of its life.
Now, the cub is larger than her puppy foster-siblings! Because she has increased in size, the cub has been moved to a tiger foster-family with cubs to play with who are more her height and weight. But the cub definitely owes her first foster mom, Tessa the golden retriever, for taking her under her paw and giving her a wonderful start to life.
Watch the video below about Tessa and her foster cub, then share this incredible story with your friends and family on Facebook.