COTTONWOOD, Ariz. - Zarah the Bengal Tiger arrived at Out of Africa Wildlife Park earlier this month and was immediately introduced to two Great Pyrenees.
Klondike and Avalanche met Zarah shortly after she arrived with the hopes that the two dogs could keep her company and teach her the ropes of being a tame tiger.
“Dogs are really, really good for raising tigers," said Jeff Harwell, Core Group Manager at Out of Africa. "They share that predatory bond so they kind of get each other.”
Harwell says it wasn't love at first sight for Klondike and Zarah.
“(It was) a little bit tense at first what with the tiger having so many claws and teeth," he said. "Now they play constantly, they rough house.”
The two dogs and the tiger are almost always together but are separated for feeding time.
“The best part of it is that the dog gets rid of all the tiger's energy, so when I come in here I’m not getting bitten and scratched quite so much," said Harwell.
The park plans to have a tiger companion for Zarah by the end of this year but the dogs are welcome to stay with her as long as they want.
"So the dogs will stay with the little tiger as long as they want, as long as it’s a great symbiotic relationship," said Harwell.
To help endangered big cats like Zarah you can text "BIGCATS5" to 50555 to give $5 to the National Geographic's Big Cats Initiative.
Or you can log on to the World Wildlife Fund website and adopt a tiger.