Three white lion cubs born in Hangzhou Zoo, China, have been adopted by a female dog after their mother refused to feed them.

The cubs, born in late April, were abandoned by their mother and are now breast-fed by a dog together with a Siberian tiger cub in the zoo.

White lions are not actually a species in their own right, but are a variation of the African lion, with their colour caused by a recessive gene which is shared by both parents - like blue eyes in humans.

Contrary to popular belief, white lions are not albinos. Their colour is caused by a mutation similar to albinism, but they lack the distinctive red eyes.

It is not the first time the zoo, in China's southwest, have used a surrogate dog mother to adopt baby lions and tigers.

In December last year they placed a pair of Siberian tiger cubs with a stray dog from the nearby village after their mother refused to suckle them.

They brought in the dog, named Xiao Wang, to act as their surrogate mother while still nursing her own newborn puppies.

While young Siberian tigers obviously do not eat as much as their adult counterparts - who need at least 9kg (20lb) of food each day to survive - their appetites are certainly greater than that of the average puppy, making the task a difficult one for a dog.

The technique is used to keep human animal interaction to a minimum so the animals can eventually be reintroduced with their own kind.

In 2010, a tiger cub called 'Lucky' was introduced to a litter of dogs after its mother refused to feed it.

And other cross-species adoption has also been known to take place, with or without encouragement by zookeepers.

Responses to "White baby lions adopted by dog after their mother refused to feed them (Photos)"

  1. Anonymous says:


  2. Anonymous says:

    They're so cute

  3. This is really neat. And is actually not that uncommon. Animals are really a good example for us. And far more humane than man.

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