A close encounter between a wolf and tiger in the wild, won’t definitely be this adorable. But as long as these cute little fellas know each other since they were a couple of weeks old, the bond they share is melting hearts all over.
Now three month old, these unlikely friends have been brought together at the Myrtle Beach Safari in South Carolina, where they are about to begin their journey as animal ambassadors at The Institute of Greatly Endangered and Rare Species(TIGERS). Since they have been separated from their moms at a very young age – with the purpose to ensure their survival – these happy friends grown up together. More, they even shared the same milk formula.
Surprisingly, both the baby tigers and their timber wolves companions seem unaware that they are supposed to be ancient enemies. Yet, they now happily pose for the cameras together in their new home. Though the young wolves are nearly double the size of their tiger friends(at least for now) they continue to play together and chase each other just like they have been part of the litter.
“At the moment the tigers will have a size and weight disadvantage to their canine friends,” said Doc Bhagavan, the founder of T.I.G.E.R.S ” So that means that the wolves are a bit pushy with their tiger buddies in their shared environment. However, as I am sure you will have guessed, even though the wolves are bigger at three months, after another five months it will be the tigers who will be able to push the wolves around.”
When reaching one year age, the tiger cubs are expected to weigh as much as 250lb, while the wolves will be around 180lb. It is when they will eventually be separated! “Even though they will have spent eight months together, after that time they will have to be separated,” Bhagavan said. “The size difference and species difference will become apparent.”
As for the moment, the staff at the South Carolina sanctuary said they decided to put these two different species together ‘to better aid their interaction with humans.’
“They bonded so well and have become very used to one another,” Bhagavan said. “We surround the tigers with cuddly toys so that they can make a nest, and the wolves are always trying to invade and share that space with the tigers. It is heart-warming to watch them now and to think that in a few months time that they will no longer be near to each other. It is quite sad, but they will enjoy their time together.”