Tuesday, May 25, 2010

And the Tiger Shall Lie Down with the Piglet

A few days ago a friend forwarded an email with the story of a tigress whose cubs had died due to premature birth. When she became despondent the zoo decided to replace the cubs to help her heal from her grief. Unable to find tiger cubs of the appropriate age, they replaced them with...are you ready?  Piglets. Piglets dressed in tiger costumes. I was enthralled with this story of how the mother tiger suckled and nurtured these piglets all the while appearing to be quite pleased with, if not proud of, her babies. Who wouldn't be? These piglets were adorable and oh-so-appreciative. And, they loved their mama.


I noticed the photos were dated from 2004, so I decided to google it and see what happened to this little family of disparate creatures. Well, the story is a bit different than the tale told 'round the web. The zoo is the Srirach Tiger Zoo in Chonburi, Thailand and this is the sort of thing it does. Matches up odd families, sort of. It does this for entertainment purposes, so I wasn't exactly thrilled to read of the zoo and its practices. It is an interesting story, though, and it does not negate the deeper implications. Snopes, sort of an internet fact-finder, which dispels rumors and urban legends, tells us the mother tiger herself was raised by a pig and so she did not see them as potential prey. They were already like family.


The story is an opportunity to look at what is possible. It begs the obvious question, why can't human beings live together in harmony? I'm not going to spend a lot of time looking at that question. Been there. Done that. Haven't we all?  Instead, every time I'm tempted to get down about what appears to be the state of the human condition, I can pause to let these images come in and remember. I can choose despondency or I can choose hope.


I'm gonna go with hope.











13 comments:

  1. Hope is good. Many of us ponder these same questions...I guess acceptance, love, etc. starts right here, right now, and with me.
    xoxox

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  2. Despondency is easy. To choose hope requires courage, strength, and nobility. I try also to choose hope. Some days are easier than others. It helps to have beautiful people like you for company.

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  3. Teresa, I absolutely love the potential of this story! Am I understanding that the tigress did not really lose her cubs and the zoo did it for entertainment?

    There are other documented instances in the animal kingdom where one species adopts another species for comfort and companionship. I recall one about a lioness protecting a baby deer or calf that she would normally see as prey. There was also a heartwarming story about an elephant and a dog. These unlikely pairings really touch the core of my heart.

    I've learned more about love from my animals than I have from other humans. But I'm weird like that. :/ Thank you for sharing!

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  4. Duh, I posted about the elephant and dog last year! http://louisianabelleforever.blogspot.com/2009/01/inspiration.html

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  5. I'm gonna go with hope, too. Starting with my little piece of the world.

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  6. Beautiful post, Teresa! You're feeling life's love! Do you remember the final scene in Tai Pan, when the monsoon is barreling down on Hong Kong and the Tai Pan and his love are trapped and he says, Dinna give up hope...? For me, hope is in the moment, despondency is tomorrow.

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  7. Thank you all for sharing your thoughts with me. Yes, it "starts right here, right now," with ourselves and our own "little piece of the world." That's the beauty of it.

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  8. Nice post. I like it alot.

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  9. Well, I'll say! I want to respond, but, darn if I know what to say about the piglets and the mother tiger. I'm glad you did some deep research (cool research rather than hot and fast) on this story. Still thinking....

    (Jack Matthews)

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  10. Mark, thanks for stopping in again. Glad you liked it.

    Jack, what I love is Knowing that such disparate creatures can not only live peacefully, but that she did, regardless of the circumstances, accept them as her own and nurture them. That's pretty cool.

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  11. What a great story...hadn't heard about this tiger and her piglet "cubs". Pretty amazing!

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  12. I saw this story a short while back, and it just warms my heart EVERY time I hear it! Soooo awesome! Doesn't nature just ROCK?!!! Thanks so much for sharing this, and for the fantastic reminder!!

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  13. Cheryl and Joan, thanks for commenting. Nature does Rock!

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