According to Wild Cats of the World (1975) by C. A. W. Guggisberg, ligers and tigons were long thought to be sterile, but in 1943, a fifteen-year-old hybrid between a lion and an 'Island' tiger was successfully mated with a lion at the Munich Hellabrunn Zoo. The female cub, though of delicate health, was raised to adulthood.
In September 2012, the Russian Novosibirsk Zoo announced the birth of a "liliger". The cub was named Kiara. Kiara was born to 8-year-old female liger Zita and male African lion Sam. In accordance with Haldane's rule, male tigons and ligers are sterile, but female hybrids can produce cubs. On May 16, 2013 the same couple produced three more female liligers: Luna, Sandra, and Eva.
A liliger was born in the United States from a male lion named Simba and a female liger named Akaria at 6:18 am on November 29, 2013 at The Garold Wayne Interactive Zoological Foundation in Oklahoma. At approximately 3 am on November 30, 2013, the ligress gave birth to two more cubs.
Craig Packer, director of the Lion Research Center at the University of Minnesota has said "In terms of conservation, it's so far away from anything, it's kind of pointless to even say it's irrelevant". The Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), the organisation responsible for accrediting zoos in North America, neither approves of nor breeds the animals, because they focus on the conservation of wildlife and programs serving that purpose.
- The Moscow Times. "Rare 'Liliger' Born to Lion, Liger Couple". Retrieved 11 September 2012.
- BBC News. "Siberian zoo breeds the world's first Liliger". Retrieved 18 September 2012.
- Уникальное пополнение коллекции Новосибирского зоопарка [A unique complement to the collection of the Novosibirsk Zoo] (in Russian). Novosibirsk Zoo. September 10, 2012. Archived from the original on September 28, 2012..
- Лигрица Зита во второй раз стала мамой [Ligritsa Zita for the second time became a mother] (in Russian). Novosibirsk Zoo. 16 June 2013. Archived from the original on 6 August 2013.
- "how Russian liger gave birth to four liligers" [Liger Queen]. Russia Beyond the Headlines. 22 July 2013.
- ""Liliger" Born in Russia No Boon for Big Cats" [Unnatural mix-and-match felines have no conservation purpose, experts say.]. National Geographic. 21 September 2012.
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