Tigerhomes.org - Bottle Feeding Exotics - 2
By: Jason Abels – Assistant Director www.tigerhomes.org Animal Sanctuary
No matter whether you are Hand
Rearing Tigers or Bottle
Feeding Leopards you can never
forget that these creatures
are Wild Animals and Not Pets! As cute as they are you
can NEVER forget that fact. One of the most common questions
David and I get is, “If you raise them from a cub
will they be tame and trustworthy”? Our answer
is always the same, NO!!!!!!!!! A tiger will always be
a tiger, a leopard will always be a leopard and the Ruffed
Lemur will always be a Ruffed Lemur! Yes, in the majority
of cases we definitely establish a relationship with
each animal we raise and in our care. This relationship
is the “Energy We Feed On”. The relationship
that we have, that connection we are so fortunate to
make with these animals is what makes it all worthwhile.
The only thing is that we NEVER forget what we are dealing
is not an attribute that should ever be associated with
any Exotic Animal. Some
certainly can be considered “Tame”,
but they are all dangerous, especially the Large Predators!
This is true from the 600 + Pound Mighty Tiger to the
9 pound Ringtail
Lemur. If they have Teeth
they can and most likely will use their “Teeth & Claws”.
Anyhow, I felt it important to mention this fact as the
Baby Pictures and Leopard Baby Pictures and even the
African Caracal Baby Pictures included with this
piece are in most cases extremely cute and adorable.
In no way whatsoever should one ever consider these animals
as trustworthy and as a pet! They are NOT.
Homes Sanctuary takes our role in the upbringing of
the Orphaned Animals in
our care very seriously. When the decision is made
for us to take on the role of “Tiger
Surrogate Mom” or any other “Wild
Animal Surrogate” we utilize the most up-to-date
Husbandry Techniques including the best Milk
Matrix for each species
in our care, with careful daily
records and charts. Just
like with a Human Child, after Bottle Feeding a Tiger
or Leopard Cub, I have to “burp” the baby.
Then to simulate the Mother’s Behavior of using
her tongue to stimulate the baby to urinate and defecate
I utilize a warm “Wet Wipe” napkin. All I
can say is “thank G-d for the Wet Wipe” ;-)!
I love each and every infant beyond words; but using
my tongue is where I draw the line ;-). This procedure
is repeated after each feeding. Baby Tigers and Baby
Leopards typically urinate after each feeding and defecate
2 to 3 times a day until they are about 3 months old.
I could go
on forever detailing each specific Hand Rearing / Bottle
utilized here, but that would
be pointless as I am not trying to write a “How
To Manual” on Hand Rearing Big Cats and other Exotics.
Instead my goal is to provide some insight into the Tiger
Homes Sanctuary attitudes and “Hand Rearing” methods
of some of its Animal
Utilizing a warm “Wet
simulates the mother tiger's bahavior.
I like to do to increase the bonding between the Infant
Animal and myself is to
groom the baby with
my mouth. Once the baby is on the Bottles Nipple and
suckling, I like to simulate the mothers Natural
Preening Behaviors by dragging my lips and face across
the babies as they nurse. This drastically increases
and reassurance levels between the cub and myself. It
also in some cases calms them down around food later
in life in case we have to approach a feeding adult cat.
Having your face in direct contact with Predator
Jaws while feeding is the ultimate in bonding J. The bad thing
about this is that I always break out around my face
because Leopard Fur and Tiger
Fur are very oily. Bet
you never new that!
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