A traveling zoo in southern Russia had a lion and a tiger. And now also a liger.
The lion and tiger lived together for a long time and knew each other well. The female tiger Princess and male lion Caesar got an offspring: the liger named Tsar.
Hybrids between male lions and female tigers – ligers – are extremely rare. Since lions mostly live in sub-Saharan Africa and tigers in Asia, only overlapping in India, these two species may produce ligers in the wild but only been known to do so in captivity.
Ligers are the largest cats in the animal kingdom. The largest is the 3.3 meters long and 418-kilo (922 pounds) liger Hercules in the United States, according to the Guinness Book of Records.
But Tsar has to put on some weight if he ever is to be in that league. Currently, the two-month-old liger is fed milk from one of the zoo goats. Mindful that Tsar’s survival is against the odds, the zoo is catering to his every whim: he has an unlimited milk supply, sleeps 16 hours a day, and plays whenever he wants.
A hybrid between a male tiger and female lion is called a tigon.