(LIGERS) CHINA — While the population of critically endangered tigers plummets, ligers — the cross between a male lion and a female tiger — are bred and promoted at some zoos. Although breeding ligers is illegal in many countries, liger cubs, believed to only occur in captivity (lions live in Africa, tigers in Asia, after all), have surfaced in a Chinese zoo. (Read what’s wrong with liger breeding here.)
Only two of the four liger cubs survived, and now the mother tiger has stopped feeding her liger babies. Perhaps the mother tiger is advising us to cease and desist from the natural procreation process? Fortunately for the little ligers, a dog came to their rescue and is nursing the cubs. See the amazing video with this interspecies mom feeding her two adopted liger babies below. — Global Animal
BBC News Asia-Pacific, Associated Press
Two liger cubs – a cross between a male lion and a female tiger – are being nursed by a dog at a zoo in Weihai, eastern China. Four cubs were born at the Xixiakou Wildlife Zoo earlier this month but only two survived.
The mother stopped feeding the cubs after a few days so the dog, which had recently had its own puppies, was enlisted to help.Ligers are extremely rare and are thought to only be born in captivity.
Zoo spokesman Cong Wen said it was not clear why the tiger had stopped feeding her cubs, the Associated Press reports.
But she said that after some initial problems, the pair were feeding well from their canine stepmother. Although they are a different species, tigers and lions are able to breed together. Ligers are the largest known cat, usually growing much larger than either parent.