Monster, a nine-year-old, wire-haired dachshund became a national celebrity after photos of him watchfully cuddling a tiny tiger cub at an animal park in the Lower Saxony town of Ströhen were released on Tuesday.
The newborn female tiger was abandoned by her mother, who was already nursing another cub and surprised her keepers with the pregnancy. An animal park worker found her cold and weakened in the pen.
Almuth Ismer, the mother of the animal park owner, took the tiger home, where her dog Monster valiantly stepped in to assume a fatherly role, cuddling and grooming her regularly, Ismer told journalists.
But on the same day Ismer shared Monster's story, he died.
“He just wanted to go outside to do his business and walked into the street,” Ismer said.
The postal worker was not at fault, she said, he was simply not able to brake in time.
Meanwhile the tiny tiger has found a new adoptive parent in Monster's one-year-old daughter Bessi, who belongs to one of the park's animal keepers, Mareike Seifart.
An affinity for tigers must run in Monster's family, Seifart said. When the father of Bessi's charge was born several years ago, Monster's mother cared for him too.
The owner of the animal park, Nils Ismer, told journalists the family will miss their kind-hearted dog.