Orphaned Tigers Cared for by Unlikely Savior

By David Mizejewski, Animal Planet

Wildlifeextra.com is reporting a fascinating story about two tiger cubs in India that were orphaned last year. The mother tiger died of a blockage in her intestinal tract, leaving her four month old cubs defenseless.

Tiger cubs stay with their mother for up to two years, nursing and then feeding off her kills, learning to hunt, and enjoying her protection from predators and male tigers, which are known to kill cubs. Based on this, wildlife managers felt it was unlikely the that the cubs would survive, even with feeding stations, and feared the worse when they disappeared.

And then, miraculously, the cubs appeared in photos taken by a camera trap some months later — strolling along with an adult male tiger, their likely father. In an unheard-of turn of events, the resident male tiger filled in for his deceased mate, apparently caring for the babies that he would have had nothing to do with under normal circumstances.

Wildlifeextra.com reports:

“Here was their father, the dominant male of the area, out on his regular territorial walk with his own small orphaned cubs. Nothing like this had ever been recorded before. A male tiger, taking on a mother’s role – and from such a tender age….

“The cubs are alive and well today, and history is being well and truly rewritten by this extraordinary father, after nearly a year of fatherly motherhood.”

The wild world is a tough one for young animals, and most don’t survive to adulthood. These highly endangered tiger cubs have a fighting chance, thanks to the odd behavior of this particular male tiger.


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Alexandra G.
Alexandra G3 years ago

wonderful daddy tiger :):)

Kathryn Mitchell
Kathryn Mitchell3 years ago

Beautiful story, so glad that papa cat is caring for his cubs.

Cindy Miars
Cindy Miars3 years ago

Never say never.

Nancy Hatcher
Nancy Hatcher3 years ago

and just when we thought we knew everything.............

Panchali Yapa
Panchali Yapa3 years ago


Marilyn Traver
Marilyn Traver4 years ago

Wow, awesome father!

Kayleigh Harter
Kayleigh Harter4 years ago

It seems like every time we think we've got nature figured out, it finds some way to surprise us. Just a reminder of how much we still have to learn.

Camilla Vaga
Camilla V4 years ago

awesome, a wonderful daddy

Lydia Weissmuller Price

He nurtures them because he loves them. Love is stronger than instinct, more powerful than any force of nature. It is the essence of God present in His creation. This tiger has found the meaning of his life.

Camilla Vaga
Camilla V4 years ago

aww what an amazing daddy tiger