Christmas cheer returns to Carvoeiro

Abandoned tiger cubs are adopted by new mum – a dog

The wrinkled, sandy-coloured Shar Pei dog called Cleopatra has been breast-feeding and cleaning the Siberian cubs as if they were her own. They also curl up and go to sleep together.

The cubs, named Clyopa and Plyusha, were born late last month in a zoo in the Russian city of Sochi, a Black Sea resort.

“She accepted them right away,” a zoo spokeswoman said.

The cubs pose no danger to the dog, though they are already showing their claws and hissing.

“They aren’t aggressive and they depend on her for feeding,” the spokeswoman added.

Fewer than 400 Siberian tigers – also known as Ussuri, Amur or Manchurian tigers, have survived in the wild, most of them in Russia’s Far East.