Cat’s and dog’s never usually get along – but this duo have struck up an unlikely friendship.
Justice, a two-year-old Great Pyrenees, is playing mother to the tiny as yet unnamed lion cub at Idaho Fall’s Zoo.
“Unfortunately, shortly after his birth, the cub had to be removed from his mom to be treated for a medical issue. We are pleased to report that he has completely recovered and is almost ready to be returned to his mother,” zoo veterinarian Rhonda Aliah said in a news release.
Zoo officials told local media that the cub developed a cut, but its mother – while well meaning – became a tad over zealous, constantly licking the wound – preventing it from healing and endangering the tiny cub’s health.
So zoo staff took the difficult decision to temporarily remvoe the cub in order to enable its cut to heal.
But with lion cubs being incredibly social animals, the introduced him to a new friend – Justice the dog.
Justice’s role is more teacher than therapist, zoo staff said.
“An important aspect of animal development, particularly with baby carnivores, is having an adult animal teach ‘animal etiquette.’ This includes not biting other animals hard enough to injure them, and not using your claws to climb on your elders,” said zoo curator Darrell Markum.
The pair have since been pictured getting on like a house on fire.
Despite their new found friendship, eventually zoo staff will reunite the lion cub with his mother, under the special supervision of expertly trained staff.