An experiment, which began five years ago in an Australian zoo, has led to the birth of the country's first two ligers - a cross between a lion and a tiger.
MCU Liger cubs in basket
CU Liger cub (2 shots)
MV Lion in cage PAN TO female tiger
CU Zoo keeper with cubs on her lap
CU Liger cub without tail
CU Liger cub playing on mat
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Background: An experiment, which began five years ago in an Australian zoo, has led to the birth of the country's first two ligers - a cross between a lion and a tiger.
SYNOPSIS: The cubs were born recently at Bullens Lion Park, Beenleigh, Queensland -- the offspring of tiger mother Queenie and lion father Prince. They were separated from their parents and have since been given extra-special attention -- bottle feeding and a diet of calcium, glucose and vitamins. To the zookeepers' satisfaction, the liger cubs are two of the strongest and healthiest youngsters born at the park.
Father Prince took the arrival quite calmly, but his tiger wife -- notoriously disinterested in caring for cubs in captivity -- was less relaxed about the whole business and was in no mood to receive visitors.
The male liger is certain to get more compensatory affection than his sister -- he's been left without tail -- the legacy of a nip from his mother. Both, however, have inherited her distinctive striped markings.