Have you ever considered how empathetic animals can be? If you have a pet dog or cat, you’ve probably experienced one of those moments when you’re not feeling great and they’ve come to tuck up in bed with you, to keep you warm and safe.
This is, in fact, one of the great benefits of pet ownership for many. It’s more than companionship—it’s about finding a little creature that shares life with you while seemingly sharing your emotional wavelength. You take care of their needs and in turn, they take care of yours.
Tigers And Maternal Instincts
Now, there is no point in time where we would suggest keeping a tiger as a pet. Not only would this be incredibly expensive, but it’s also very much illegal in most parts of the world. Then there’s the little matter of you know, being eaten by your pet.
However, it’s worth thinking about captive tigers in a similar context to pets. A tiger in a zoo and a pet share similar relationships with humans. A person is providing food, care, and more—so why shouldn’t a tiger display a similar empathic response as a pet would?
Well, the jury is still out on tigers and their actual maternal instincts. While there have been cases in zoos of tigers becoming wildly distressed when separated from newborn cubs, there have also been plenty of cases where female tigers have rejected their own young.
One Tiger’s Maternal Instinct And A Real Life Mom
Brittany Smith-Osborne recently took a trip to the zoo with her friends. This story wouldn’t normally be news if she and her friends hadn’t visited the tiger enclosure at Potawatomi Zoo in South Bend, Indiana.
One of Brittany’s friends is Natasha. What makes Natasha stand out in this story, at least, is the fact that she is 27 weeks pregnant.
Given that the tigers are kept safely behind glass with no way to access the public at all, Natasha felt that she would be perfectly safe to approach the tiger enclosure—and this is what happened.
Firstly, the female tiger comes up against the glass and is happy to pose for a selfie with Natasha. Then the tiger begins to paw the glass in a playful manner which delights Natasha further.
After a while, the tiger then notices that Natasha is quite visibly pregnant and does a kind of double take. The tiger then goes into full on action proving without a doubt that this tiger has a mothering instinct.
She begins to cuddle the baby bump through the glass. It’s a truly heart warming moment and one which delights both Natasha and her friends.
The good news is that this moment was caught on film by Brittany and she was happy to share it with the world. You can find the video on YouTube here and you can make up your own mind about tiger’s mothering instincts based on the evidence before you.