If you’re an animal lover, you’ll be pretty set on the opinion that all animal babies are cute – even those that grow up to be terrifying.
While many of us wouldn’t want to cross a lion or a tiger without the safety of a wire fence between us, there’s no denying that their babies are adorable.
Fiercely cute felines
Lions and tigers belong in the felidae species, which is why they effectively just look like big cats. The shape of their heads, their whiskers, and even some of their movements, like their tail flicks, are very similar to that of a domestic cat. And in the same way that kittens are notoriously a number 10 on the cuteness scale, so are baby lions and tigers.
Meet lion and tiger “brothers”
Melinda J is a YouTuber who has had experiences that many of us couldn’t dream of. She volunteered at an animal preserve, called Kowiachobee, in Naples, Florida, and got to hang out in very close quarters with the preserve’s baby animals.
Amongst these animals were a 5-month-old baby lion and tiger. According to Melinda, the pair had grown up together since birth, which made them “brothers”.
In a video shared to her channel, Melinda records the cheeky youngsters as they engage in a tussle. They start by batting each other’s faces with their paws, circling like boxers.
Their moves are a little clumsy, but while they might look pretty innocent now, it’d be a different story in a year’s time!
The baby tiger rolls onto his back and the baby lion dives on top of him, but soon climbs off and sits next to his head.
It looks as if the baby tiger is in a more playful mood than the lion, and he continues to lie on his back, batting his friend’s face with his paws and occasionally receiving a nip for doing so.
They are bonding
They might look like they’re getting on one another’s nerves, but social play amongst lion and tiger cubs is actually a form of bonding. Sure, you’d expect to see only the members of a one-species pack bonding, but considering the pair live at a preserve, it’s not like they can simply head out into the wild to meet more of their own kind.
While it’s not that common to see a lion and a tiger hanging out as a pair, big cats can learn to co-exist with one another, especially if they’ve been brought up together. The cheeky duo in this video already look as if they’re going to be friends for life.
My dad is bigger than yours
Melinda’s video proved incredibly popular, with more than 4.5 million people pressing “play” to watch the brawling little brothers. Though one person made a very good point in the comments, writing:
“The difference between cute and terrifying is only a few months…”
Others tried to guess what the lion and the tiger might be arguing about. Some thought it could be about whose dad was bigger, while others guessed it could be about who was rightful to the “king of the jungle” title.
Melinda posted that if her video received lots of views, she’d share more videos in the future. True to her word, when the video proved popular, she shared more clips of the lion and tiger club in action. Her channel is a great place to be if you love all things wild!
Scroll down and prepare to “aww!” at the cute video of the playfighting brothers below.
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