10 Animal Moms Who Stepped Up As Surrogate Parents
SHEEPDOG AND LAMB
It's a story made for a Disney movie! Jess the sheepdog loves caring for orphaned lambs. The springer spaniel was trained by her owners to hold a bottle, and now the dog bounds around her farm feeding all the little lambs that have no mother to help them. A considerate species, the lambs show their appreciation by giving Jess nuzzles and licks.
DOG AND OPOSSUMS
A group of opossums were saved from the brink of death thanks to a dog who is great at giving piggy back rides. The babies were left alone after their mother was killed in an attack. Thankfully, a good Samaritan took the animals in and bottle-fed them. Her dog took an immediate interest in the new visitors and was soon caring for the opossums on her own, allowing the babies to cling to her back as she went on her walks.
WALLABY AND BABY TREE KANGAROO
In June 2015, Makaia became the first tree kangaroo to be successfully raised in the pouch of a wallaby. The baby ended up switching pockets after his mother suddenly died when he was just 5 weeks old. Keepers at the Adelaide Zoo acted fast and placed the joey in the pouch of a wallaby at the zoo. The wallaby, acting like a total champ, gladly accepted the parenting responsibilities thrust upon her. You go, Mama Wallaby!
CAT AND PUPPIES
It's just like Bill Murray said in Ghostbusters: dogs and cats are living together. But there's none of the promised mass hysteria; instead there's a whole lot of cuteness. After her canine roommate passed away, Amanda the Siamese cat decided to honor her by taking care of the dog's six new born puppies, even when she was nursing three kittens of her own. This is a supermom reality show waiting to happen!
DOG AND TIGER CUBS
Labrador Lisha has never had a litter of her own, but the 9-year-old dog was born to be a mom. Lisha has been a surrogate to more than 30 orphaned animals over the years, ranging from a porcupine to a pygmy hippo, at the Cango Wildlife Reserve in Oudsthoorn, South Africa. In 2009, the canine became the mom to three orphaned tiger cubs who were rejected by their mom. Just like with the babies before, the Lab was happy to fill in and teach her new kids about the importance of cuddling.
AUSTRALIAN SHEPHERD AND CHEETAH CUBS
After a traumatic birth at the Cincinnati Zoo a cheetah mom died, leaving five young cubs behind. Luckily, Blakely the Australian shepherd, who is also a male, took on mothering duties. Keepers bottle-fed the premature babies every three hours, while Blakely handled the snuggling and comforting. Thanks to this Mr. Mom, the cubs grew into healthy cats.
FEATHER DUSTER AND DUCKLINGS
Not all moms are … well, moms. A group of orphaned ducklings at the Chester Zoo found comfort in a few feather dusters. The fluffy cleaning tools provided reassurance and shelter for the babies, while they got accustomed to ducking around. Ever selfless, the feather dusters asked for nothing in return.
CAT AND SQUIRREL KITS
A Ukrainian kitty named Belka is all about sharing the love. The mother cat accepted two orphaned baby squirrels into her litter of newborn kittens. Fate seemed to play a part in the meeting, since Belka means squirrel in Ukrainian.
BOSTON TERRIER AND KITTENS
Memory hunted down motherhood. The Boston terrier sniffed out four abandoned kittens left in the cold and immediately took them under her paw. The new dog mom attempted to nurse her feline babies, even though she wasn't producing milk. But Memory still had a lot to offer, covering the kittens in kisses and protecting them from the big, scary world.
CAT AND KITTENS
Mikey the cat was able to find something good in all her grief. After losing her three kittens, the mother kitty was visibly heartsick. Worried about her depressed feline, Mikey's owner introduced her pet to three abandoned kittens in desperate need of love, and a new brood turned out to be exactly what the grieving cat needed. Mikey instantly accepted the babies, happily nursing, cleaning and hugging the trio as if she gave birth to them herself.