Liger Kittens Born

Deb: What are you drawing?

Napoleon Dynamite: A liger.

Deb: What's a liger?

Napoleon Dynamite: It's pretty much my favorite animal. It's like a lion and a tiger mixed... bred for its skills in magic.

Napoleon must be stoked today because a new litter of ligers was born in a Russian Zoo.
Three liger cubs have been born in the Novosibirsk Zoo to unusual parents: an African lion and a Bengalese tigress, the zoo’s director Rostislav Shilo told RIA Novosti Monday. The cubs are called ligers, a term derived from their parents’ species, lion and tiger.

The cubs were born as a result of a genuine attachment between the lion and the tigress who have been kept in neighboring cages since childhood. Such a cross would be impossible in a natural environment, since tigers and lions only mate with their kin.

The litter is the couple’s second, the zoo director added. In summer 2004 ligress Zita was born in the zoo. Zita is now one year and four months old. "She is growing and developing like any other young animal," Shilov said about the ligress. "She runs, she plays around, there are no problems with her at all."

It is hard to say whether the ligress looks more like a lion or a tiger, but she behaves more like a tiger, zoo keepers say. When she is angry or getting ready to attack, she holds down her ears like tigers do, they said. Zita also loves to swim, while young lions do not.
No word yet on what magical skills the ligress possesses.

Posted on November 17, 2005

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