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Moms Reject Babies - Why?
A red panda and a Chihuahua refuse to nurse their own offspring.
A red panda.

A red panda (think raccoon) recently gave birth to two little cubs at a Chinese zoo. But while the crowd watched, it became clear to zoo staff that mama wasn't all that interested in being a mom. They managed to find a Chihuahua--a new mom herself--who was willing to nurse them. (Follow the link to see a photo of the surrogate dog.) Strangely, the Chihuahua has now rejected her own baby and the staff are hand feeding the pup. This situation practically begs the question: Why can't we leave nature alone? I mean, isn't it a little weird that we are intervening in what should be a natural process for two species, and yet, our "help" has caused both moms to reject their own babies? 

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Julia Kamysz Lane, owner of Spot On K9 Sports and contributing editor at The Bark, is the author of multiple New Orleans travel guides, including Frommer’s New Orleans Day by Day (3rd Edition). Her work has also appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Poets and Writers and Publishers Weekly.

SpotOnK9Sports.com

iStockphoto.

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Submitted by SaraG | July 22 2009 |

I agree that tampering is never a great idea but that ship has sailed for the red panda. I, for one, am glad to see the Chihuahua step in to help these endangered pups.If we have to have zoos, they should be working hard to ensure that rare and endangered animals thrive and survive--if it takes a Chihuahua, so be it. It's not ideal but I'm happy to see these babies get a good start. (And what a strangely cute scene.) I'm sure the Chihuahua's baby will be well taken care of by zoo staff.

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