Animals enjoy sharing their lives with other species but the relationship between these endangered Siberian tigers and German shepherd dogs was truly unique.
A Slovakian wildlife sanctuary called the Oasis of the Siberian Tiger in Senec, Slovakia is devoted to breeding endangered Siberian tigers.
Founded in 1999, the Oasis of the Siberian Tiger is dedicated to protecting the big cats, otherwise known as, striped ussurian tigers from extinction. Today, there are 25 tigers living at the sanctuary.
Part of the unique history of the sanctuary involves the friendship between a pair Siberian tigers and three German shepherd dogs named Blacky, Hugo and Jenny. The tigers, Suria and Sunny, were both born at the Oasis of the Siberian Tiger in a protected area that breeds Siberian tigers.
The dogs and the tigers grew up together and have a very special friendship. Despite the size and strength of the tigers, they play with the German shepherds and never hurt them. They frolic and chase each other as though it’s the most natural thing in the world for a tiger and German shepherd to be hanging out together.
In 2015, some of their antics were caught on film by Lucia Zustakova, a visitor, and Martin Ziman, a volunteer known for his photography. Lucia Zustakova said:
“Suria plays with the dogs every day and they just love her. I love animals and love the oasis [sic]—it’s a great project to help these tigers that are facing extinction.”
The beautiful friendship between the tigers and the dogs is something special to see. “The five of them behave more like siblings than rival species,” according to volunteer Martin Ziman, and “get along famously.”
While the sanctuary website doesn’t tell us where the dogs are today, we do know that dogs have a shorter lifespan than tigers do. We can hope that the tigers and the dogs are still friends and enjoying their old age together.
Please share these amazing pictures with your family and friends.