Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Baby Tigers, Orangutans Best Mates, For Now

They're two of the world's most endangered species, and in the wild one would be hunting the other, but for one month in an Indonesian zoo nursery, there were no closer friends than two infant Sumatran tigers and two orangutans :

The friendship between 5-month-old female baby primates Nia and Irma, and cubs Dema and Manis, has blossomed at the Taman Safari (Indonesia).

After being abandoned by their mothers shortly after birth, the four play fight, nipping and teasing each other, and cuddling up for a shared nap when they are worn out.

"This is unusual and would never happen in the wild," said zoo keeper Sri Suwarni, bottle-feeding a baby chimp on Wednesday. "Like human babies, they only want to play."

"When the time comes, they will have to be separated. It's sad, but we cant' change their natural behavior...Tigers start eating meat when they are three months old."

Not a lot of faith there in the power of friendships.

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