A pair of Sumatran tiger cubs and a set of young orang-utans, all abandoned at birth, have become inseparable after sharing a room at an Indonesian zoo.
“The four have lived side-by-side for a month without a single act of hostility,” said zookeeper Sri Suwarni.
“This is unusual and would never happen in the wild,” Suwarni said. “Like human babies, they only want to play.”
The exceptional friendship will likely be short-lived, said veterinarian Retno Sudarwati, because as the animals grow up their natural survival instincts will kick in. Tigers begin to eat meat at three months old.
Indonesian tigers and orangutans are both endangered species, threatened by rapidly shrinking habitats.
Conservationists estimate there are fewer than 700 Sumatran tigers still alive, while fewer than 60,000 orangutans remain in the wild. Around 90 percent of the jungle has been destroyed by illegal logging, poaching and cut-and-burn farming practices on Borneo and Sumatra islands.
In related news, a Chinese surgeon recently removed cataracts from a baby tiger at the Nanchang zoo.
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