Saturday, August 18, 2007

Tiger and piglets

This mother tiger is raising piglets:

Tiger and piglets
The photo is genuine, and despite gags about it ending in tears when momma gets a little peckish, the tiger herself was raised by a pig and is very unlikely to turn on "her" babies. It's a good example of animal psychology: the tiger isn't likely to be fooled by the tiger skins on the piglets, especially once they skins have been washed a few times and lose any residual tiger scent, but it shows that some animals learn what to consider prey and what not to.

Although the above situation was artificial in the sense that human beings manipulated the tiger to raise the piglets, such situations sometime occur in the wild. True stories (and some not-so-true) of human children being raised by wolves are common. Less common but still well-documented include cases of predators raising babies of their usual prey species, for example the well-documented case of a lioness in Kenya that tried to raise no fewer than three baby antelopes.

2 comments:

Herdingcats said...

I'm going to post this on my blog. I have an educational blog and accepting students who are "different" is vitally important. This photo shows us that love and tenderness isn't a function of blood, but a simple one of true and universal love. I've been discussing the acceptance of disabled children, different races and religions, and special education students by other students and by teachers and parents. What an amazing picture.

Anonymous said...

just have a look at
http://urbanlegends.about.com/library/bl_tiger_and_piglets.htm
and then update your opinion...