World's first liliger born in Russia
October 17, 2012
This past September, a new animal made its way into the world. Kiara, the world's first liliger, is a combination of her mother Zita, a liger - a mix of a tiger and a lion - and her father Sam, an African lion, according to National Geographic News.
The cub was born in the Novosibirsk Zoo in Russia, and is believed to be the only liliger in existence. Even though Kiara is all cute and cuddly now, these mixed felines raise a great deal of concern for advocates, as they are not entirely sure how they will behave, according to the news source. Ligers come about when a male lion mates with a female tiger, and this mix breeding only happens in captivity.
"Lions and tigers are separated by about seven million years of evolution, but they are still closely enough related that they can hybridize," Craig Packer, the director of the Lion Research Center at the University of Minnesota, told the news outlet.
However, the liliger may have to deal with a few problems while she gets older.
"Lions are genetically predisposed to be very sociable and cooperative. Tigers are genetically predisposed to be very ornery and solitary," Parker told the media outlet.
According to ABC News, Kiara was kept in quarantine until October, she is now showing her face to the public at the zoo. Even though the young cub has been raised by the zoo's domestic cat because the liger mother was not able to produce enough milk for Kiara, those in charge are still hopeful about her outcome.
“This cub has just started growing and developing, her character has not even formed yet. But I’m confident she will be a calm, confident, strong animal,” Roza Solovyova, the head of the zoo’s cat section, told Reuters.
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