In 2008, a chimpanzee named Anjana adopted and raised two baby white tigers named Mitra and Shiva.
When two white tiger cubs were born during a hurricane they had to be separated from their mother after their sanctuary flooded. However, they have since found an unlikely surrogate mother in chimpanzee Anjana, who has taken on the role of caring for the cubs.
The two-year-old chimp had been helping keeper China York care for the 21-day-old cubs at The Institute of Greatly Endangered and Rare Species (TIGERS) in South Carolina. 'Mitra and Shiva, were born during Hurricane Hannah,' said Dr. Bhagavan, founder of TIGERS. "During that time everything flooded in the sanctuary and they had to be moved into the house as their mother became stressed. It was important for their safety that they were separated."
Placed into the care of infant animal care giver China and her chimpanzee companion, Anjana, the cubs have become almost inseparable from their new motherly figures. Dr. Bhagavan added: 'China's role means that she is a caregiver to hundreds of animals when they are born. 'Anjana has been with China, side by side, ever since she was born and has joined her in caring and raising baby animals. 'So she helped her and acted as a surrogate mother to these animals and she has done these same with these baby white tigers.
'She has raised leopards, lions, orangutans,' said Dr. Bhagavan. 'Monkey sees as monkey do, and she has taken on this copycat personality and helps China raise the animals.