Saved By A Whisker
The Leningradsky Zoo in St. Petersburg is one of Russia’s oldest zoos, having been opened on August 14th of 1865. The zoo was founded by two animal-lovers, Julius and Sophia Hebhardt, so it’s perhaps fitting the zoo is grabbing headlines today thanks to two animal lovers: a former stray calico domestic cat named Dusja and a captive European Lynx named Linda.
Their story begins in 2007 when Dusja, a hungry stray kitten, wandered into Linda’s cage at the Leningradsky Zoo – most likely she was attracted by some of Linda’s uneaten food. As wild European Lynx’s can range in length from 80 to 130 cm (31 to 51 in)and weigh from 8 to 21 kg (18 to 46 lb), Dusja was lucky not to have ended up a meal herself!
Instead, something unexpected and heart-warming occurred: instead of fighting, the two felines bonded in what can only be a sort of surrogate mother-daughter relationship. Dusja began visiting Linda on a daily basis and zoo staff, seeing what was transpiring, thankfully didn’t interfere in the budding friendship.