It’s a story of friendship forged from tragedy: one tiger cub, seized by Border Patrol after it was purchased by a California man in Mexico. The other tiger cub, rejected by its mother.
And on Monday, they met for the first time at the San Diego Zoo.
The cub rejected by its mother is a 9-week-old Sumatran tiger who was born at the National Zoo, the zoo said in a news release.
“After numerous attempts to keep the mother and cub together, the animal care team decided it was in the cub’s best interest to separate them,” the zoo said.
And the other cub, a 7-week-old Bengal tiger, was bought on the streets of Tijuana and confiscated by Border Patrol last month. He was then taken to the zoo’s Safari Park for care.
According to a news release, both the San Diego Zoo and the National Zoo decided that the best solution for both lonely cubs was for them to become companions.
The pair “took to each other immediately,” the zoo said, and keepers will watch them for 24 hours. If everything goes well, the zoo said, visitors will be able to see the cubs.