Liliger Cubs in Russia

In 2012, Russia made a huge history by breeding world’s first Liliger cub. A liliger cub has a male lion as its father and a female liger (ligress) as its mother. The liliger cub was born at Novosibirsk Zoo in Russia, during the month of September, in 2012. Moreover; Russia’s Novosibirsk zoo became the first zoo in the world to breed a liliger cub. Ligers are mostly popular in United States and China but the birth of this liliger cub, also pushed Russia in the limelight of hybrid animals as well. The birth of the liliger cub also gave a clear and loud message that the female ligers are fertile and they can produce offspring by mating with either male lions or male tigers.

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A Liliger cub at Novosibirsk Zoo in Russia.
World's first Liliger cub was born in Russia's Novosibirsk Zoo in 2012. Photo Courtesy of

The name of the worlds’ first Liliger cub was Kiara the liger, whereas; the name of the ligress which gave birth to that liliger cub was Zita the liger. Zita is a female liger which still lives at Russia’s Novosibirsk zoo. She was born in 2004 and she is currently around 12 years old now. Zita weighs more than 450 pounds and she is almost equal in size of a male lion. The name of the father of the liliger cub was Sam the lion. Sam is still alive as well and he also lives at Nosobirsk Zoo. Sam is an African lion and he weighs around 500 pounds in weight. His age is around 8 years old. A lion can successfully mate with a female lioness, tigress or a ligeress even at the age of 15.

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The name of the Liliger cub was Kiara
The name of the world's first Liliger cub was Kiara the Liliger. Photo Courtesy of

The liliger cub that was born at Russia’s Novosibirsk Zoo had a very unique appearance. It had a blend of all the visible appearances a lion, a liger, a tiger and even a leopard. For example, it had a tawny brown skin which is a common attribute in between a liger and a lion. On the other hand, instead of having stripes like liger or a clear fur like lion, that liliger had dark spots on its fur. The presence of the spots on the fur of the liliger cub makes it, similar in appearance with that of leopards. Therefore; from liger to liliger; the transformation of the liliger, resembles closely with that of lion and a leopard in terms of its fur pattern. However; facial resemblance of the liliger is still more similar to that of a tiger.

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The Liliger cubs had spots on their fur.
Liliger cubs have spots on their fur rather than spots or plain pattern of fur. Photo Courtesy of

After 2012, at least a litter of 4 more liliger cubs was born during the year 2013. The same female liger (ligress) and same lion from Russia’s Novosibirsk Zoo gave birth to a litter of those 4 liliger cubs. Later; in 2015 another female liger in Russia’s Sochi province also gave birth to a litter of 3 liliger cubs. Therefore; there has been 3 instances in Russia so far, where female ligers have successfully given birth to liliger cubs. Furthermore; Russia now holds a world record to have maximum numbers of liligers, because currently there are at least 8 liligers in Russia. United States is the only other country to have liligers at its zoos.

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Litter of Liliger cubs in Russia.
From 2012 to 2015 least 3 litters of Liliger cubs have born in Russia. Photo Courtesy of

But will these liliger cubs be able to grow as much bigger in size as that of lions, tigers or ligers? These liliger will reach the age of maturity at around 4 years and their growth rate, length and height will determine their actual sizes. Recent photographs from Russia and United States have shown that a liliger is physically bigger and stronger than a tiger or a lion. This clearly shows that a liliger has an ability to outgrow a lion or a tiger. However; will ligers still remain the biggest cat in the world? Or will the liliger be the biggest cat group? The answer may take a few more years when the actual size sample of the liliger cubs from different places of the world will be verified.

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Liliger cubs grow bigger than the tiger cubs
Liliger cubs grow bigger than the tiger cubs. It means that just like ligers the liliger cubs also have a faster growth rate than the tiger cubs. According to the findings of one study at GW Zoo, an 18 months old female liliger cub weighed around 230 pounds. Mature lionesses and tigresses have known to have this much amount of weight. Photo Courtesy of

The birth of the liliger cubs have made a huge buzz all around the world. People are really surprised to know and watch such new breeds of the big cats. These liliger cubs are famous all around Russia as well. School children are especially amazed by these liliger cubs, as they have written a lot of essays and have them drawn as art in their drawing books. The Novosibirsk zoo has been on the radar of many international tourists as well to watch this new breed of the liliger cubs. However; on the other hand, some animal rights activists are condemning the birth of these liliger cubs as they think that ligers and liligers do not contribute anything regarding preservation of the endangered species. But many animal activists believe that ligers can act as brand ambassadors for the conservation and preservation of the endangered bit cat species. Moreover; they can also contribute to big cat education as well.

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Liliger cubs are hugely popular across the world.
The birth of the liliger cubs and their news buzz in social media really made them hugely popular across the globe. 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