A 4-year-old dog “really believed” she was the mom to baby bunnies nesting in her owner’s Ohio backyard.
The 120-pound Newfoundland breed named Zuri took the liberty of caring for three baby bunnies whose eyes weren’t even open yet after she found them in her Columbus yard.
“I don’t know for sure when Zuri started watching over them before I found them, but I was mowing the grass one day and she just refused to get out of my way. That’s when I saw something little pop up and was like ‘oh my gosh, there’s bunnies here,’” Zuri’s owner, Ciera Martin, told McClatchy News in a phone interview.
The Sept. 17 TikTok posted by Martin that has amassed more than 1.3 million views as of Sept. 19, shows Zuri, described as a “gentle giant,” napping with the newborns and even giving them a good cleaning.
“She’s so protective over them, she barks at my neighbor’s dogs for even looking at them and if there was a bird in our yard she’d run after it,” Martin said. “No one was allowed to get near them.”
The babies’ bunny mom would be gone throughout the day, returning at 6 a.m. and 9 p.m., leaving Zuri with the “day shift,” Martin said.
Unfortunately for the stand-in mama, the bunnies eventually hopped off and left her “feeling sad,” but Martin said she thinks Zuri will eventually get used to the new normal.
“I’m not allowed to say the word bunnies because she’ll immediately perk up and run outside and go to where they were,” Martin said.
As for those who commented on the video, no one is planning on telling Zuri who the babies’ birth mom is as “those are her babies.”
“What a sweet surrogate mama!!!!!” one commenter wrote.
“SHES THE MOMMY,” another wrote.