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Russia’s Leopard-Loving Dog
March 27, 2018 07:31 GMT
An easygoing dog from Central Asia has formed a close bond with a (rather less easygoing) African leopard inside a zoo in the Russian city of Vladivostok.
1 Elza (left), a Central Asian sheepdog, playing with Milasha, an African leopard cub.
Milasha was separated from her mother after the adult leopard abandoned her cubs while in captivity in the Sadgorod Zoo in Vladivostok.
2 Milasha was separated from her mother after the adult leopard abandoned her cubs while in captivity in the Sadgorod Zoo in Vladivostok
3 Milasha’s keeper, Viktor Agafonov, says the zoo has no regrets over the decision to socialize little Milasha with Elza, despite the rather different temperaments of the two animals.
4 Agafonov said in a recent interview that “Elza is a lovely dog, she likes to kiss, but the leopard likes to bite.”
5 Milasha is quite used to the company of dogs; the little leopard’s “wet nurse” was a golden retriever.
6 Agafonov said “the dog is very tolerant of the naughtiness of the young leopard; she tries to claw and bite [Elza]. It’s all play but she’s still a bit naughty.”
7 Elza is no stranger to (little) big cats and attention from the media.
8 Elza has already served as an eager playmate for one of the zoo’s tiger cubs and a small lion (pictured here in 2017).
9 The zoo plans to introduce another leopard for Milasha, but until then Elza will be playing with her sharp-toothed little buddy. “They’re real soulmates,” said Agafonov.
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