WOJCIECHOW, Poland, Oct 09, 2014 (AFP) - A lion cub who was abandoned at birth by his parents has been cuddling up to a shaggy-haired sheepdog and mother-of-five at a private zoo in Poland.
Parys was born last week at the small zoo in the eastern town of Wojciechow to a mother who showed no interest in nursing him, and a father who gave him one lick and then walked off.
"Animals sometimes abandon their young, as do humans from time to time," zoo owner Krzysztof Zerdzicki told AFP. "When I picked up the little guy, the lioness came over to me and tapped me with her head as if to say, 'take care of him'. And then she left."
Zerdzicki entrusted the black-spotted cub to his pet dog, Carmen, an Old English Sheepdog that had just given birth to her own litter of five a few days before.
"She was surprised at first, but she took it well," Zerdzicki said.
"She's been taking care of him, licking him, nursing him. His brothers and sisters have also accepted him as one of their own."
But there are differences. More ravenous than the puppies, Parys has been getting extra meals and will be put on a meat diet next month.