Zoo which already boasts a half-tiger, half-lion liger welcomes three liliger cubs
- Three liliger cubs were born at a zoo in Novosibirsk, Russia, recently
- They are a hybrid of a lion and a liger - which is itself a lion/tiger hybrid
By Anthony Bond
They may look familiar but these big cats are extremely unique and rare.
This big cat mother recently gave birth to three adorable liliger cubs at a zoo in Novosibirsk, Russia.
Although the mother and her cubs look like tigers, she is in fact a lion-tiger hybrid known as a liger - the biggest known cat in the world.
Bizarre: A Russian zoo is home to a unique animal - the liger. It is half-lioness, half-tiger. Mother Zita is pictured licking her one month old liliger cub
Cute: The first liliger was born in the zoo last year and now there's a second litter of three, all of them females
The first was born in the zoo last year and now there's a second litter of three, all of them females.
They were born in May and now have grown up enough to start exploring their surroundings, showing an endearing clumsy energy.
Their mother, Zita, was born in the zoo in 2004. Their father, Sam, is an African lion. The offspring of a lion and liger is called a liliger.
The liger is the largest known cat in the world and holds similar characteristics to both lions and tigers.
Loveable: The tiny cubs enjoy playing in the sand at the zoo
Fluffy: A liliger is a big cat breed where the father is a lion and the mother is a lion-tiger hybrid, known as a liger
Just like tigers, they enjoy swimming and are very sociable like lions.
They exist only in captivity because the habitats of tigers and lions do not cross in the wild.
Ligers are known for growing bigger than either parental species.
Protective: Zita carries one of her cubs as another walks by her side
Playful: The young cub plays around the feet of mother Zita, who has her hands full with the three cubs