Rescued and Rejected: Tiger cubs are now BFFs

One tiger cub was a victim of illegal wildlife trafficking.

Another tiger cub was rejected by his mother.

And now, the wayward cubs are together at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park and are quickly becoming best buddies.

“The cubs took to each other immediately, and interacted by wrestling, jumping and engaging in a lot of friendly roughhousing—things tiger cubs do,” the zoo said.

The facility shared this adorable introduction.

The Sumatran tiger cub was born July 11 at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo in Washington, D.C.

Things were going fine with mother Damai until the cub was 19 days old when zookeepers noticed she was acting aggressive toward her cub. They worried she wasn’t producing enough milk. Supplemental food was provided to the growing cub, but the big cat became even more hostile to its baby.

Motherhood was not in the cards for Damai.

But the San Diego Zoo Safari Park was able to take on the 9-week-old tiger.

And on Monday, the little cub arrived.

“His keepers reported he did extremely well during the flight—slept most of the way,” Andy Blue, associate curator of mammals at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, said in a statement. “Our priority now is to ensure he continues to thrive and acclimates well to his new surroundings.”

Meanwhile, keepers in San Diego had already been tending to a male Bengal tiger cub that was confiscated last month by U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Someone tried to bring it into the United States from Mexico.

That 7-week-old cub is doing well.

The two cubs were to be introduced slowly, but the cub from Washington showed no signs of stress.

Staff figured a brief introduction would work – and it did.

They are all kinds of cute.

A 9-week-old Sumatran tiger cub (left) greeted an approximately 7-week-old Bengal tiger cub (right). San Diego Zoo Safari Park.

Keepers are closely watching the cubs.

The public should be able to see them soon.

Photos San Diego Zoo Safari Park

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Recovering newspaper reporter.

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