Cats and dogs don’t always get along, but it’s pretty adorable when they do. Supersize that cuteness, literally, with this story about a special interspecies relationship between a German Shepherd Dog and baby lions.
White Lion Park in Russia shared the sweetest photos and videos from their Instagram account of this oddly adorable family. If the pictures don’t melt your heart, you might want to visit a cardiologist and find out if it’s made of titanium alloy.
Sandra Becomes A Cub Mother
Grown lions are scary, but the 8-year-old German Shepherd took no issue with caring for these feline babies. With one puppy of her own, Sandrochka (aka Sandra) readily added two new little ones to her litter.
She came to White Lion Park temporarily from a family in Artem. In one caption, the park praised the dog’s maternal instinct.
“Sandra loves her adopted children very much,” the park wrote.
The German Shepherd took on these two big cats, still the size of small dogs, like they were her own. The baby cubs nursed (dog milk is perfectly safe for lion cubs to consume) and cuddled their dog mom. Sandra gave the little ones loving licks and encouraged their leaning on her.
Both lions and dogs are pack animals, and though it’s adorable, it’s no surprise these two species felt comfortable forming a little family. For these particular cubs, Sandra’s motherly instincts proved especially helpful as the resident lion at the park refused to feed them.
According to the park, Sirona the lioness even bit the cubs, so they thought it best to find a surrogate mom. Luckily for them, there was Sandra.
A Sweet But Temporary Relationship
The park named the female cub Sandra after the mama dog who kept her safe in her most vulnerable time. The boy cub is now called Vector. After just a few months, they’ve grown much larger in size.
Soon, they’ll be so large it will be hard to imagine they ever nursed on a German Shepherd. The female could weigh around four and a half times as much as Sandra as an adult, and the male lion cub could end up close to seven times as large.
As lions are wild animals, this relationship wasn’t really meant to be permanent. Luckily, in the days of Instagram, we didn’t miss this adorable time period when a dog became a mother of lions.