Zoo 'tests baby leopards and tigers' natural reflexes' by throwing them a LIVE rabbit to play with


Nervous: These tiger cubs seem not to know what to do when confronted with a rabbit

You might think that tiger cubs would be hard-wired to go after their prey aggressively from an early age.
But when these wild-beasts-in-training were presented with a juicy rabbit, their predatory instincts seemed to fail them.
The white rabbit simply jumped around their enclosure, eluding their grasping paws as it outpaced them.

Escape: The rabbit's leaping abilities apparently enabled it to avoid a grisly fate

The charming scenes took place at Qingdao Forestry Zoo in Shandong province in northern China.
Zookeepers there put the rabbit in with the tiger and leopard cubs when they reached the age of two months.

Athletic: The rabbit's canny escape attempt seemed to outpace this leopard on the prowl

They hoped to test how well developed the big cats' wild instincts were by seeing if they would be able to hunt down the rabbit.
However, the intended prey was apparently able to escape the fierce animals' attention.

Success? One leopard cub got his teeth on the rabbit - but only managed to chomp on its ear

Stand-off: The tiger apparently tried intimidating the rabbit by giving it the hairdryer treatment

The tiny tigers even seemed to shy away from the rabbit, though it was only a quarter of its size.
Photographs of the chase show that the worst any of the predators was able to do was to grab hold of one of the rabbit's ears.
The scene was presided over by a mother tiger, separated from the youngsters in another cage.

Playful: The big cats toyed with the rabbit but were not pictured going in for the kill

Disapproving: The mother tiger would have had no problems catching and eating the white rabbit

source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2417494/Zoo-China-tests-tigers-reflexes-throwing-live-rabbit.html
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