At the Myrtle Beach South Carolina Zoo, both the tiger and wolf cubs are happily playing with each other, but this would not be the case in the wild. The young gray wolves and Bengal tigers are completely unaware that they are supposed to be sworn enemies as they play for the cameras in their South Carolina home.
Animal experts in the South Carolina sanctuary had decided to place the two unlikely groups of friends together to better aid their interaction with humans. Both tigers and wolves have been friends since being two weeks old, and they share a unique bond. Separated from their mothers to insure their survival, they are beginning their journey as animal ambassadors at The Institute of Greatly Endangered and Rare Species - conveniently abbreviated to 'Tigers'.
Now aged three months, and sharing the same bottles of milk formula, the 25lb wolf pups are twice the weight of their tiger playmates. According to The founder of Tigers, Doc Bhagavan: "At the moment the tigers will have a size and weight disadvantage to their canine friends. So that means that the wolves are a bit pushy with their tiger buddies in their shared environment."
"However, as I am sure you will have guessed, even though the wolves are bigger at three months, after another five months it will be the tigers who will be able to push the wolves around", he continued. After one year the tiger cubs will be expected to weigh around 250 lb. compared to the year-old wolves at 180 lb.
Mr Bhagavan added: "They bonded so well and have become very used to one another. The wolves are a bit bolder than the tigers at the moment, nibbling their ears and playing a bit rougher, but that will change as the tigers grow older and larger."
"We surround the tigers with cuddly toys so that they can make a nest, and the wolves are always trying to invade and share that space with the tigers. It is heart-warming to watch them now and to think that in a few months time that they will no longer be near to each other. It is quite sad, but they will enjoy their time together."