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TAIWAN – A pair of liger cubs has sparked controversy!

A zoo keeper at a private zoo in Taiwan has come under fire as he is linked to the birth of two new liger cubs. Authorities are investigating the zoo keeper for breeding a lion with a tiger. Breeding and crossing of rare protected animals is illegal in Taiwan and if convicted, a fine could be worth up to €1,000.

Huang Kuo-nan, the zoo keeper under investigation, insists that he did not mate the two animals on purpose. The liger cubs are the first created in the country. The mother was a Bengal tigress named Beauty and the father was an African lion named Simba. Beauty gave birth to triplets but only two survived.

“Usually when a lion and a tiger are kept together, they will for sure attack each other to death, but these two have been spending time together since they were small,” Huang said.

The cubs were rejected by the mother so they are being hand-reared. Huang says that the two animals have been mating for about three years – but this is the first pregnancy.

“The pregnancy of the tigress caught me totally unprepared,” Huang added.

The cubs were born Sunday at the World Snake King Education Farm in South Taiwan. The Tainan county government seized the cubs later in the day and moved them to a home for wild animals in another southern county. According to the Tapei-based Apple Daily, there are only around 10 surviving ligers in the world.