A trio of German Shepherds has formed an unlikely bond with a pair of endangered Siberian tigers at a nature reserve in Slovakia. Hugo, Jenny and Black, resident dogs at the park, have become firm friends with Suria and her cub Sunny. The reserve, called “Oasis of the Siberian Tiger,” is a protected space in the town of Senec that specifically breeds the endangered species. Suria was born in the park two years ago and has been inseparable from her canine companions ever since, while Sunny, just four-months-old, was quickly accepted into the group.
Lucia Zustakova recently caught on camera the pride-pack enjoying their bout of daily fun, often boisterous games of chase and play fighting. “It is nice to see it all and it is so amazing when you are so near these beautiful animals,” she said. “Suria plays with the dogs every day and they just love her. I love animals and love the Oasis -- it's a great project to help these tigers that are facing extinction.”
The Oasis, which opened in 1999, is run by Yveta Irsova and boasts 28 tigers… and three dogs. Twenty-three of the tigers that live in the reserve were born there. The aim of the sanctuary is to restock the gene pool for the endangered species, which has been hunted to the edge of extinction. Martin Ziman, a volunteer at the oasis, said: “The dogs are almost same age as Suria and have grown up together. They spend most of the time together. They are really like siblings and play together all day long. They never hurt each other.”