Liger Cubs in Taiwan

In 2010, 3 liger cubs were born in Taiwan. This was the first instance in Taiwan that a female tigress successfully bred with a male African lion to produce liger cubs. The owner of the zoo stated that he never intended to cross-breed lion and tigress but the shortage of space forced him to put both the lion and tigress together in a single enclosure. The tigress and the lion got along nicely and later on after some years the tigress successfully mated with her male partner (lion) and gave birth to at least 3 liger cubs. However; the birth of the liger cubs created a huge media debate and criticism from animal rights activists. The owner who owned these big cats was defended himself that the tigress and lion were living together for 6 years; and the tigress never got pregnant before; so, he never had it in mind to intentionally breed the liger cubs. Therefore; he also said that he was unaware of the pregnancy of the tigress.

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First liger cubs in Taiwan were born in 2010.
The first litter of liger cubs in Taiwan was born in 2010. Three liger cubs were born at that time at a private zoo in Taiwan's Taipei city. Photo courtesy of

As soon as the news spread within Taiwan’s local media, initially; it was taken as an element of surprise by the media sources. However; as soon as the first liger cub died, the animal rights activists and the local authorities of Taiwan visited the zoo and confiscated all the 3 liger cubs. The authorities examined the enclosure and the facilities at the zoo. After the examination; they concluded that the current facilities were inadequate for the liger cubs to stay at the zoo premises. As a result of that the Taiwanese authorities confiscated all the liger cubs from the zoo owner and shifted them to an intensive medical care facility named as Pingtung Rescue Center.

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Liger cubs born in Taiwan were confiscated by the authorities
As soon as the liger cub died, the authorities visited the zoo and confiscated the liger cubs from the owner of the zoo. Photo courtesy of

The Taiwanese authorities also imposed a fine of 50,000 Taiwanese Dollars (Equivalent of 1500 US Dollars) to the owner of the zoo for illegally cross-breeding the endangered animals to produce the liger cubs. According to the authorities, both the lions and tigers are endangered animals and having cross-breeding to produce liger cubs serves no purpose for conservation of the endangered animals. Furthermore; they also stated that such acts always undermine the efforts of saving big cats. This is the first instance anywhere else in the world, where a zoo or its owner has been arrested and fined for breeding the liger.

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Owner faced fine penalty of 1500 US dollars for breeding liger cubs in Taiwan.
The owner of the zoo faced a fine penalty of US 1500 dollars for breeding liger cubs. According to the authorities lions and tigers are endangered species and crossbreeding should never be considered as an option. Photo courtesy of

In the mean while when this development was taking place; the Taiwanese authorities banned breeding of the ligers and any other hybrid big cats resulting from the cross-breeding of the protected species. This made Taiwan as the only country in the world which has officially banned ligers and other hybrid animals. This official ban from the Taiwanese Government opened a huge debate about the cross-breeding, its consequences and whether it should be legal or not. This incident also triggered a huge uproar against crossbreeding across many states of USA as well. However; no other country in the world has put a ban on breeding of the ligers. For example; China the neighboring country of Taiwan has no restrictions about the crossbreeding of the ligers. Their zoos are even allowed to display the ligers and their cubs.

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Breeding liger cubs in banned in Taiwan.
Taiwanese authorities banned breeding of liger cubs in Taiwan after the birth of the first litter of the liger cubs. Photo courtesy of

A week later; after the incident, the second liger cub from this same litter of liger cubs died. The rescue officials told that both the liger cubs were very weak and underweight, when they were brought to the zoo. They also explained that their genetics had disabilities and their survival was very difficult. Only one of these 3 liger cubs survived at that time. However; that only surviving liger had some disability at one of its hind leg. Please do note that this was the only incident in the world, where the survival rate of the liger cubs was very low. As of 2017, this surviving liger cub is still alive and he lives at Pingtung Rescue Center in Taiwan. He is a male liger and has a mane around his neck as well.

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Second liger cub died in Taiwan after few months.
The authorities failed to save the life of the second liger cub in Taiwan. After a few months the second liger cub also died as well. Photo courtesy of

According to the experts, liger cubs and other big cat cubs need a lot of care at the time of their birth. Even before their birth, their mother’s health and lifestyle also matters a lot which directly contribute to the survival of the liger cubs. The authorities in the current case of the Taiwanese ligers have explained that the liger cubs were underweight. This only happens if the tigress is not being fed properly at the time of pregnancy. Moreover; there might well be possibility that these liger cubs were born as pre-mature babies and that’s why they were so fragile and underweight. Furthermore; if we look at the living condition of the tigress at the zoo where she gave birth to the liger cubs, they were simply horrible i.e., just a small cage with two big cats inside. Under such circumstances the chances of the survival of the big cat cubs are very low.

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Living conditions of the parents of the first liger cubs were not satisfactory.
The survival of the liger cubs depends upon the living conditions. Their living conditions and their parent's living conditions really matter a lot for their survival. In Taiwan the living conditions of the parents of the liger cubs were not up to the mark and that's why their survival rate was relatively lower. Photo courtesy of


Published Date:

Last Modified: February 12, 2017

Publisher: LIGER CUBS

Genre: Liger Cubs, Lion, Tiger, Cross Breeding, Hybrid, Panthera

Copyright Holder: © Liger Cubs - All Rights Reserved

Copyright Year: 2017