Story By: Ginger Mahotchina, Sub Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Central European News
Video Credit: CEN/@safaripark25.TV
Safari park workers in Russia have discovered this big cat thought to have been a liger – the offspring of a male lion with a female tiger – is actually a much rarer liliger- a liger crossed with a lion.
Staff at the Primorsky Safari Park in the Primorsky Krai of Russia’s Far East region had believed Blag was a male liger when it was born on February 27th, 2012, in a mobile mini-zoo from Pyatigorsk city, during the tour of the zoo in the Amur region.
However, they have now discovered that Blag’s mother was actually a ligress name Alena who was three years old at the time.
Therefore, Blag is actually a liliger, a second-generation hybrid from a lion (Panthera leo) and a ligress (Panthera leo crossed with a Panthera tigris).
The first liliger was reportedly born at the Hellabrunn Zoo in 1943, surprising scientists as ligers and tigons – a male tiger crossed with a female lion – had long been thought to be sterile. In September 2012, Russia’s Novosibirsk Zoo announced the birth of a liliger. The cub was named Kiara and was born to an eight-year-old ligeress called Zita and a male African lion, Sam.
On 16th May 2013 the same couple produced three more female liligers: Luna, Sandra, and Eva.
Male tigons and ligers are sterile, but female ligers and tigons can produce cubs.
Blag was born in a mobile zoo but after people complained about its living conditions, it was moved to the safari park, where it has more space.
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