Lisha, a Labrador, is world famous for her mothering skills even though she’s never birthed any pups of her own. The dog, who lives at Oudtshoorn’s Cango Wildlife Ranch in South Africa, has played surrogate mom to more than 30 animals, including cheetah and tiger cubs, potbelly pigs, a porcupine, a pygmy hippo, a weasel and a barn owl.
Rob Hall, director of the wildlife refuge, says that Lisha domesticates the wild animals and serves as a bridge between them and humans. “They adjust more easily to her, and when they see that she trusts us, they are more at ease around us,” he said.
Hall and his wife, Nadine, said they noticed early on that regardless of the whether Lisha encountered a kitten or a baby hippo, she treated them all the same — like a child that needed a mother. “She would just walk up and lick the creature she was caring for. Although in the case of the porcupine that was more amusing,” Rob Hall told The Daily Mail.