Eight-year-old female liger Zita
A rare hybrid of a lion and a liger, itself the offspring of a lion and a tiger, has been born at the Novosibirsk zoo.
The zoo named the female "liliger" cub Kiara, after the daughter of the lion Simba from the Disney movie "The Lion King," head of the cats section at the zoo Roza Solovyova told Interfax on Monday.
Kiara was born to 8-year-old female liger Zita and male African lion Samson, Solovyova said.
Lions and tigers do not breed in the wild but do sometimes produce offspring in captivity, Solovyova said. The animal is known as a tigron when the father is a tiger and a liger when the father is a lion.
When a female liger and a male lion breed, the offspring is called a liliger.
Male tigrons and ligers are sterile, Solovyova said, but female hybrids can produce cubs.
Kiara's mother, Zita, stopped producing milk almost immediately after giving birth, so zoo employees are feeding Kiara with a bottle of artificial formula, Solovyova said.
Kiara is currently being nursed by a house cat that plays with her and keeps her warm, she said.
Solovyova said that visitors to the zoo will be able to see Kiara in a month at the earliest.
The Novosibirsk zoo has an array of about 10,000 animals, with 702 different types in all.