A private zoo in Taiwan could be fined and have a have a couple of newborn animals seized for allowing two protected animals to cross-breed. Three liger cubs were born at the zoo, but only two survived, and the tigress has rejected them.
Environmental and Animal Society of Taiwan (EAST) wants the newborn ligers to be seized immediately to punish the owner of the facility, Huang Kuo-nan, for breaking the country’s Wildlife Conservation Law and to deter others from doing the same type of thing.
A six-year-old tigress at the World Snake King Education Farm gave birth to the cubs on Sunday, August 15. Huang said the mating was an accident, although he has kept the male lion and female tiger in the same cage since they were cubs.
"Cross-breeding two protected species is completely against nature,” Lin Tai-jing, an EAST researcher, told Focus Taiwan. “We are urging the Council of Agriculture (COA) to seize the two cubs immediately and bring Huang to real justice. A fine of NT$50,000 (about $1,600 US or £1,020) is a mere slap on the wrist.
"It is like paying the government for a permit to breed ligers.”
Kuo Yi-pin, the head of the Tainan County Government Agricultural Department, said it is illegal to artificially cross-breed tigers and lions because they are protected animals.
Officials are scheduled to visit the zoo and decide whether to take the ligers and fine Huang.
Earlier this month, Huang was accused of selling tigers and bears, as well as tiger bones and bear paws – which some people believe have medicinal properties. He is now being investigated the illegal trade in endangered species.
The zoo owner has stated that he runs a legitimate business.
Lions and tigers do not cross-breed in the wild. Adult ligers can weigh about a ton and measure 12 feet in height when standing on their hind legs.