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Faithful German Shepherd steps in to raise two lion cubs

A zoo lioness is seen biting her tiny cub in a worrying video, prompting keepers to remove her two babies and give them to a German shepherd named Sandra to suckle.

There were fears for the life of the ’emaciated and dehydrated’ newborn kittens at the White Lion Park in the Russian city of Vladivostok.

‘What the mother lion is doing is not quite normal,’ said park director Viktor Agafonov.

‘She is biting them…

‘One cub seems even to have a little wound.

‘This is completely abnormal.’








A zoo lioness is seen biting her tiny cub in a worrying video, prompting keepers to remove her two babies and give them to a German shepherd named Sandra to suckle

A zoo lioness is seen biting her tiny cub in a worrying video, prompting keepers to remove her two babies and give them to a German shepherd named Sandra to suckle

There were fears for the life of the 'emaciated and dehydrated' newborn kittens at the White Lion Park in the Russian city of Vladivostok

There were fears for the life of the ’emaciated and dehydrated’ newborn kittens at the White Lion Park in the Russian city of Vladivostok

'What the mother lion is doing is not quite normal,' said park director Viktor Agafonov

‘What the mother lion is doing is not quite normal,’ said park director Viktor Agafonov

Sirona the lioness is a first-time mother and described as ‘very introverted, reserved and secretive’ before keepers saw she was failing to care properly for her infants.

There were no such problems with the park’s faithful German Shepherd, which had recently given birth to one puppy.

‘It is interesting that this dog doesn’t like cats, yet she decided to accept the little African lions into her family,’ said Agafonov.

‘She has a puppy, smaller than lion cubs.

‘But the dog has enough milk because in the past she has fed eight puppies.’

He praised the eight-year-old foster mum for taking on the cubs.

Sirona the lioness is a first-time mother and described as 'very introverted, reserved and secretive' before keepers saw she was failing to care properly for her infants

Sirona the lioness is a first-time mother and described as ‘very introverted, reserved and secretive’ before keepers saw she was failing to care properly for her infants

There were no such problems with the park's faithful German Shepherd, which had recently given birth to one puppy

There were no such problems with the park’s faithful German Shepherd, which had recently given birth to one puppy

'It is interesting that this dog doesn't like cats, yet she decided to accept the little African lions into her family,' said Agafonov

‘It is interesting that this dog doesn’t like cats, yet she decided to accept the little African lions into her family,’ said Agafonov

‘This dog helped us a lot, obviously, and she will help the cubs to survive because their mum, Sirona, didn’t come close to them.

‘The male cub is already sucking milk carefully. 

‘And the girl cub is taking it too.’

He said it was an ‘unusual case when a representative of one animal species fosters cubs of another, let alone wild….

‘The dog’s milk is very appropriate for the cubs, it has all necessary nutrients for normal development.’

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