LIFE2-APR04-AUSTRALIA-TIGER LIFE2: STORY 309 TIGER WINDSOR, SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA APRIL 02, 2001 NATURAL WITH ENGLISH SPEECH DURATION: 3:58 SOURCE: REUTERS WEB AND TV RESTRICTIONS: NONE FEED HISTORY: ASIA/L2 INTRO: It's the stuff of fairy tales -- two Bengal tigers, abandoned by their parents shortly after birth have been adopted by Australian veterinarian Rob Zammit and the family dog. SHOWS:(L2) WINDSOR, SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA (APRIL 02, 2001) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 1. VARIOUS OF BENGAL TIGER CUBS PLAYING WITH DOG 2. TIGER CUB, PRUDENCE GRABS HOLD OF ROB ZAMMIT'S LEG 3. TIGER CUBS WITH DOG 4. VARIOUS CUBS 5. VARIOUS CUBS WITH DOG 6. CLOSE-UP OF TIGER CUB, PRUDENCE 7. CUBS WITH DOG 8. TIGER CUB 9. ROB ZAMMIT CARESSING CUB 10. (SOUNDBITE) (English) VETERINARIAN SURGEON, DR. ROB ZAMMIT SAYING: "We've made the decision to look after them ourselves and foster them and when they came here, my German Shepherd bitch decided that she'd help too because there are a lot of things to be done. Firstly you've got to get the right food for them and feed them but you've also got to make them go to the toilet." 11. ROB CARESSING CUB 12. (SOUNDBITE) (English) DR. ROB ZAMMIT SAYING: "Probably less than a thousand now around the world of Bengal tigers, the population is very, very small so two kittens represents a big percentage." 13. TIGER CUB SITTING BESIDE TRICYCLE 14. (SOUNDBITE) (English) DR. ROB ZAMMIT SAYING: "No, not too many Australians get to have cubs at home. I've been very, very fortunate, it's a real privilege I think to be able to do this from many points of view. Our children just love it, they tend to think it's almost normal to have some sort of exotic animal, we've had a lion here before in the past, I've even had a whole litter of leopards sitting around the house and they don't sit around very often I tell you that, they climb everywhere, leopards, at two weeks of age they're up on the curtains and the bookshelves so you have to be a bit careful but no it's not normal in this country to have these sort of big cats lying around the place." 15. GERMAN SHEPHERD DOG HAVING A REST 16. VARIOUS OF ROB FEEDING CUB STORY: These seven-week old orphaned tiger cubs have found
both a new home and a new mother. They have been adopted by veterinarian surgeon Dr. Rob Zammit. But it's Zammit's dog, a German Shepherd called 'Pepper' who has taken on the role of surrogate mother. Dr Zammit said ''We've made the decision to look after them ourselves and foster them and when they came here, my German Shepherd bitch decided that she'd help too because there are a lot of things to be done. Firstly you've got to get the right food for them and feed them but you've also got to make them go to the toilet." Tiger cubs Flair and Prudence were part of the Bullen circus family's private collection. But their parents, frightened by recent floods in Sydney, abandoned them, leaving the cubs to fend for themselves. Baby food and formula milk, supplemented with the love and attention of 'Pepper' is a balanced diet for the little big cats. The cubs are expected to return to the Bullens' menagerie in the next few weeks. But they'll need to be isolated from their parents to avoid any hostility to their return. Dr Zammit said he felt privileged to be fostering the Bengal tigers, which he estimates are among less than a thousand left in the world. Already stars of the Zammit family, these two tigers are heading for television celebrity... the Bullens are negotiating advertising contracts for the telegenic pair.