New unique animal, liger, born in Siberian zoo

A baby animal like that cannot be born in wild nature

Visitors of the zoo in Russia's Novosibirsk (Siberia) will soon have a unique opportunity to see a half-breed of the Bengal tiger and the African lion, the scientific director of the zoo, Olga Shilo said on Monday.

A female tiger of the mobile part of the Novosibirsk zoo gave birth to two kittens (a male and a female) five months ago. An African lion was the father of the two kittens. One of the animal babies was taken to Novosibirsk, and the other one stayed with the mother in the mobile zoo, Interfax reports.

”The two babies are called ligers – a hybrid of a lion and a tiger. The kittens were born absolutely incidentally; they are not the result of a scientific experiment. Their parents, the lion and the tiger, have been living in the cages next to each other for quite a long time. Such unions are practically impossible in wild life,” Rostislav Shilo, the zoo director said. The female little liger, named Zita, looks like a stripy lion.

”The little kittens are just fine. Zita, the girl, will be living in Novosibirsk, our visitors will be able to see her after December 10th. Zita's brother is currently on a zoo tour in Kemerovo,” Olga Shilo said.

Siberian ligers are unique animals, although they are not the first ones of the kind. A lioness and a tiger became parents to a couple of little “tiglons” several years ago. One of them died in Calcutta in 1998 and the other one died in China in 2003.

The director of the Novosibirsk zoo emphasized that the birth of such half-breeds was a very are occasion to happen. “As far as we know, there is no other liger in the world,” said she. “The kitten has tiger's head and tail, it has the lion's color of the body, although there are stripes on the animal's back,” Shilo said.

A baby animal like that cannot appear in wild nature. Bengal tigers live only in India: a tiger cannot have a baby from an African lion due to 10,000 kilometers of distance between them.

It is worth mentioning that the Asian tiger has been named the loveliest animal on Earth, according to a recent poll conducted among 50,000 respondents in 73 countries of the globe.

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Author`s name Olga Savka