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Photo: Russian Novosibirsk Zoo is home to adorable liliger cubs

By JohnThomas Didymus     Jun 20, 2013 in Environment
A zoo in the Russian city of Novosibirsk is home to three liliger cubs born in May to a female liger, Zita. A liliger is a hybrid cross between a male lion and a female liger (ligress), while a liger is a hybrid cross between a male lion and tigress.
The photos show the liger nine-year-old Zita caring for her liliger cubs born in May, now old enough to run around and explore their environment.
Big cats carry their offspring in their mouth. The cub cooperates by going limp when it is lifted into its mother's mouth.
The father of the cubs is a male African lion called Samson. Ligers have the distinction of being the largest cats in the world. On the average, they grow bigger than both lions and tigers.
Another type of lion/tiger cross is the tiglon or tigon. A tiglon is a hybrid cross between a male tiger (Panthera tigris) and a lioness (Panthera leo)
Male tiglons and male ligers are sterile. Only females are able to reproduce.
Tiglons are smaller than Ligers, and on the average smaller than lions. The tend to grow to the size of a female tiger.
The first know liliger is a female named Kiara born at the Novosibirsk Zoo in September 2012.
Ligers share the characteristics of both lions and tigers. Like tigers, they enjoy swimming and like lions, they are sociable.
Ligers are found only in captivity. There are no confirmed cases of ligers and tiglons in the wild. This is because the wild habitats of lions and tigers do not overlap. However, there are stories that ligers have existed in Asia in the past when the continent had a large population of lions whose territories overlapped with those of tigers.
More about liliger cubs, liliger, Liger, tiglon, Tiger
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