Tiger Father Upends Stereotype By Caring For 4 Cubs After Mom’s Death, Surprising Researchers

Tiger Father Upends Stereotype By Caring For 4 Cubs After Mom’s Death, Surprising Researchers

With tiger families, it’s the mother who provides the parental care. After giving birth to cubs, for two years they stay near her side, learning hunting and survival skills. Then they head off on their own.

But since a tigress died of unknown causes at Panna Tiger Reserve in India this May, the father tiger has been exhibiting “rare behavior” by caring for the four cubs beyond the usual protector role. He’s been observed hunting a sambar deer and sharing the prey with the young. He’s been heard calling to the cubs in communication.

The 8-month-old cubs are being carefully monitored by conservationists, and currently look healthy, active, and neither hungry nor stressed, Mongabay has reported.

“The tiger visits these cubs regularly, and his behavior shows that he is not a threat to the cubs. We have seen the cubs playing with the male tiger and sharing kills,” Panna Tiger Reserve director Uttam Sharma told Mongabay-India.

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