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Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordataeat food
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Felidae
Genus: Panthera
Species: Panthera leo × (Panthera leo × Panthera tigris)♀

The liliger is a hybrid cross between a male lion (Panthera leo) and a ligress (Panthera leo × Panthera tigris). The first hybrid was born at the Novosibirsk Zoo.


The first known hybrid, a female liliger named Kiara, was born at the Novosibirsk Zoo in Russia, in September 2012. 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.[1][2][3][4]

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.[5]

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 as they focus on the conservation of wildlife and programs serving that purpose.[6]


  1. ^ The Moscow Times. "Rare 'Liliger' Born to Lion, Liger Couple". Retrieved 11 September 2012. 
  2. ^ BBC News. "Siberian zoo breeds the world's first Liliger". Retrieved 18 September 2012. 
  3. ^ Уникальное пополнение коллекции Новосибирского зоопарка [A unique complement to the collection of the Novosibirsk Zoo] (in Russian). Novosibirsk Zoo. September 10, 2012. .
  4. ^ Лигрица Зита во второй раз стала мамой [Ligritsa Zita for the second time became a mother] (in Russian). Novosibirsk Zoo. 16 June 2013. 
  5. ^ "how Russian liger gave birth to four liligers" [Liger Queen]. Russia Beyond the Headlines. 22 July 2013. 
  6. ^ ""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.