In keeping with the recent tiger theme, four liger cubs were born in Shandong, China earlier this month. Only two have survived this long.
The liger is a cross between a female tiger and a male lion. The parents of these two cubs (see video), one male and one female, are an African lion and a Manchurian tiger. Lions and tigers are different species but part of the same genus, so are able to mate successfully.
According to National Geographic, ligers are able to roar like lions and chuff like tigers, and are faintly striped. A liger chuff is “a supposedly affectionate sound that falls somewhere between a purr and a raspberry.”
Don’t be fooled by the littleness of the cute cubs in the embedded video though; ligers grow to be huge. Fully grown they weigh in around 450 kilograms or 1000 pounds, and eat about 23 kilograms or 50 pounds of meat a day.
Lion-tiger mating only occurs in captivity. The mixing of two species is reportedly frowned upon by accredited zoos.
Liger image CC licensed by nordique