Cubs seized after Taiwan zoo breeds lion-tiger hybrid
First Posted 22:02:00 08/16/2010
TAIPEI, Taiwan — A private zoo in Taiwan has become the island’s first to breed “ligers”—a hybrid of a lion and a tigress—but officials seized the cubs and said Monday they may fine the owner.
The three liger cubs were born Sunday at the World Snake King Education Farm in the south, but one of them died almost immediately, the farm’s owner, Huang Kuo-nan, told Agence France-Presse.
“The pregnancy of the tigress caught me totally unprepared,” Huang said. “The lion and the tigress have been kept in the same cage since they were cubs more than six years ago, and nothing happened.”
But the Tainan county government later in the day seized the two baby ligers, relocating them to a home for wild animals in another southern county.
“What else can I do? I respect the decision, but I hope the two cubs can be taken good care of,” Huang said.
Huang faces a fine of up to 50,000 Taiwan dollars (1,600 US dollars) for breeding wildlife without authorities’ prior approval, said the Council of Agriculture.
According to the Taipei-based Apple Daily, there are only around 10 surviving ligers in the world, with adult ligers capable of growing much larger than average lions.