SOCHI, Russia, Aug. 17 (UPI) -- A trio of liger cubs rejected by their mother at a Russian zoo are being cared for by a black Labrador retriever, officials said.
The Sochi zoo said the three cubs, fathered by a male lion named Simba, were rejected by their mother, a liger named Marusya, shortly after their birth in early August.
The zoo said a black lab named Grona was brought in to fill the parental void, and she has been nursing and cleaning the newborns as if they were her own.
Footage of the liger cubs in their home at the zoo shows their adoptive mother feeding and licking the babies.
Ligers are hybrid animals with lions as fathers and tigers or female ligers as mothers. They are the largest cats in the world, and only female ligers are fertile.