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“Liger” Cubs Illegally Born in Taiwan

“Liger” Cubs Illegally Born in Taiwan

A zookeeper in Taiwan has crossbred a lion and a tigress, resulting in two liger cubs.

The liger cubs are the offspring of an African lion named Simba and a Bengal tigress named Beauty. Three cubs were born, but only two survived. This incident could spell serious legal trouble for the zoo.

Breeding ligers is not only frowned upon, but illegal in Taiwan. Animal rights groups have called for strict punishment of Huang Kuo-nan, the owner of the zoo. It is very likely the cubs will be confiscated at the conclusion of the investigation by government authorities.

Crossbreeding of animals is looked down upon, in general, because it represents the worst parts of humanity’s interference in the natural lives of animals. But it is especially egregious when the animals being crossbred unnaturally are threatened species like the lion and the tiger.

Animals whose populations and habitat are dwindling shouldn’t be in zoos being crossbred with other species. It’s a slap in the face of conservation efforts.

Hybridization of animals is fetishized by many who view animals as worth little more than the entertainment they provide. There are many animals with portmanteau names like zorses and camas that have been bred in captivity, either purposefully or accidentally. These hybrids illuminate some of the worst ways in which humans use animals for entertainment. Instead of simply confining them to cages, we play god with their very genes, mixing and matching shapes and colors like we’re choosing an outfit to wear.

Ligers, unlike the majority of hybrids, are fertile and can continue to reproduce, creating more and more hybrids with absurd traits and even more absurd names. Ligers are like other hybrids, however, in their increased risk for health problems and shorter lifespans.

The ligers bred in Taiwan must be hand-raised by humans because their mother, Beauty, has no interest in taking care of them.

Huang Kuo-nan has denied he purposefully bred the ligers, although he admits to keeping Beauty and Simba together, knowing they were mating. It seems absurd to not think Beauty would end up pregnant eventually. Huang has also been in legal trouble for selling tiger bones and bear claws.

Whether or not Huang purposefully bred the liger cubs is a moot point. The crux of the issue is that zoos only benefit humans who want to be entertained by animals. They do not benefit the animals who are kept in captivity and subjected to ludicrous cross breeding for the amusement of humans. Zoos are unnatural places, where unnatural things happen, and we shouldn’t be surprised when news of this kind comes out of any zoo.

Boycott zoos, and let animals live their lives naturally without having their lives, habitats, or genes tampered with by people.

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Photo: jtillery

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6:49AM PDT on May 11, 2013

Although these hybrids were illegally bred, is there a sanctuary where they can go, that will spare their lives, and will the government approve? They are a beautiful species even if they are cross-bred between the lion and the tiger!

12:14PM PDT on May 9, 2013

The simple fact that we can do something doesn't mean that we have to do it. This person should certainly face prosecution.

11:15AM PDT on May 9, 2013

I think this article demonizes zoos abit much, this guy may be a rotten apple and run a shady establishment. From what I've seen I'm sad to say they are more out there like this mostly in, I hate this term but for lack of a better one, "third world countries". I think alot of zoos though, including several in "third world countries" aren't bad and actually do some good. I know for a fact several US zoos often adopt and care for unwanted exotic pets, even if they already have several of them and don't want or need them but they do it for the animals sake. Also I have heard about zoos and zoologist working with wildlife conservation efforts donating both time and money.

9:54PM PST on Jan 21, 2013


5:48PM PST on Jan 21, 2013

A zoo keeper ? Seems like a slave dealer to me, and a necromancian, selling claws and tiger bones ! Of course he knew what he was doing ! He should be banned from approching any animal in the future, and be watched closely, he is insane.

2:44PM PST on Jan 19, 2013

He's a zoo keeper. He should have known better !!!! What a tragedy for the poor offspring of these 2 beautiful animals.

8:01AM PST on Jan 19, 2013

So wrong

12:24PM PST on Jan 18, 2013

I'm sorry but where the hell do some people get off trying to play god? Crossbreeding is illegal and dangerous - there are enough animals in the world being mistreated and abused without creating a whole new sub-species.

5:26PM PDT on Sep 20, 2010

thanx Mac.

12:07PM PDT on Sep 12, 2010

To breed these animals for profit is wrong to the animals. And their population is dwindling as it is. We need to help the populations of the different species, not to combine them.,

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