Meet the Baby Liligers Born in a Russian Zoo

The cubs are three parts lion, one part tiger -- and 100% adorable

  • Share
  • Read Later
Ilnar Salakhiev / AP

A month-old liliger cub walks in Novosibirsk Zoo. The cub's mother is Zita, a liger - half-lioness, half-tiger, and father is a lion, Sam.

In a scene from the 2004 movie Napoleon Dynamite, the idiosyncratic title character is sitting on the steps outside his high school sketching a creature called a liger. “What’s a liger?” his friend asks. “It’s pretty much my favorite animal. It’s like a lion and a tiger mixed… bred for its skills in magic,” he replies. And unlike unicorns, which are also pretty magical, ligers don’t exist only in movies and fairytales. While the mighty, mixed-breed cats are fairly rare, sightings have been documented as far back as the late 1700s.

Now there’s a new variation on the liger, dubbed the “liliger.” Born about a month ago at the Novosibirsk Zoo in Russia, three liliger cubs–the adorable offspring of a mother liger (half-lioness, half-tiger) and a father lion–are now old enough to prowl and explore on their own, reports the Associated Press. The new all-female brood is just the second litter of its kind. Their parents also produced the world’s first liliger at the same Russian zoo almost a year ago. The first few months for these cubs are crucial not only for them to learn coordination and strength, but also for the trainers to figure out their personalities so a suitable name can be given.

(WATCH: Baby Meerkats and Tigers, Oh My!)

MORE: Americans Prefer Dogs — but Dream of Tigers, Giraffes

WATCHAdorable Video of the Day: Dog Acts as Surrogate for Liger Cubs

7 comments
Imagine_Natsus
Imagine_Natsus

But if her mother is a lioness and her father is a male tiger then she's a Tigon not a Liger. Maybe something's wrong here?. She looks like a Liger tho

Amy_LinC
Amy_LinC

My first thought.... I WANT ONE! 

They aren't meant to be pets though nor confined.  They need the freedom to roam in an environment meant for wild animals...  Key word here is "wild".

MelissaTackett
MelissaTackett

While yes these cub are adorbale, they will face suvh health issues, and emotional issues for what life they have that it is not fair to them.

I notice you don't name the zoo, they are not an AZA acredited zoo and only breed these cubs for the money they will bring.

Please don't glorify this travistuy.

JustinK
JustinK

@Amy_LinC Your comment was cute but they are not wild animals. They are the product of hybridization born in captivity to a mother who herself is a hybrid bred and born in captivity. A wonderful testament of genetics but they wouldn't survive in the wild as they have no true habitat.