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When Sassy, a white Bengal tiger at the Safari Zoological Park in Caney, Kansas, stopped nursing her tiger cubs less than a day after they were born, zoo owners Tom and Allie Harvey had an idea to get the cubs fed. They called in Isabella, a 1-year-old golden retriever who had just finished weaning her own two puppies, to stand is as a substitute mom—licking, cleaning, feeding and loving the cubs as if they were her own.
Allie says she got the idea from a show she saw on Animal Planet. "Another zoo had some golden retrievers and some labs they used to help nurture and stimulate baby animals ... so that's when I got my golden retrievers," she says. "Isabella just happened to be lactating when the mama tiger abandoned her cubs, so we put them on [Isabella], and away they went."