Liger Cubs and Mortality Rates

Mortality rates of the liger cubs can provide very important information for the success or the failure of the liger breed. There is no firm evidence that most of the ligers actually die, whenever, they are born. Some online sources have speculated this fact for the personal gains, whereas; others have simply blind-foldly followed it. Liger experts have opposite opinion and these opinions are backed with the fact which specifically prove that mortality rates of the liger cubs is not such as an issue as it is propagated by some propaganda campaigners.

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Liger Cub Angry.
An Angry Looking Liger Cub at Shanghai's Animal Zoo. Special Thanks to 

In China, there have been a lot of focus on the cross breeding of the lion and the tiger to produce liger. The same is true about United States as well which has the highest numbers of ligers in the world right now. Mortality rates of the new born liger cubs can provide significance evidence that whether the ligers as a species are prone to mortality. Either an evidence from China or United States can be highly reliable to measure the mortality rates of the liger cubs. So in this observation we shall include sample of the liger cubs from China as well as from United States of America.

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Liger Cubs and Mortality in United States and in China. investigates the mortality rates regarding liger cubs either in United States or in China. Both United States and China have a significant sample of the Liger cubs. Therefore, any observation regarding mortality rates of the liger cubs can be highly essential. This picture belongs to  

A tigress gave birth to a liger named as Zao Zao during 2004, but the liger died after 50 hours. The same tigress gave birth to four liger cubs at the same time but one of the died, while the rest of the three survived. Since 2004, this tigress has given birth to about 12 ligers, only 2 of them have died while the ramining 10 ligers are even still alive as of today. Another tigress during 2002 gave birth to another liger in the Hongshan zoo in Nanjing. That liger died just after a week. That was the first ever liger cub being born in China. In 2002 again another tigress in the Fozhou province gave birth to a liger which lived around 100 days or approximately three and a half months. So the mortality rates of the liger cubs is there but it is not that much huge as it has been propagated as a negative propaganda.

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Liger Cubs Feeding on Milk in United States.
Twin Liger Cubs in United States. United States has highest population of ligers in the world. The cubs are being fed on milk during their earlier life. This picture is authorized to website by 

These above observations do indicate that very few ligers have died during their birth times or onwards. Just 2 ligers have died out of total 12 ligers. The same statistics can be true even for a cubs from a lionesses and tigresses. Therefore, there is no firm evidence that liger cubs are weak and the mortality rate among the liger cubs is high. This example from can truly give a serious proof that liger cubs have normal mortality rates in captivity. Mortality rates of the cubs is not directly related with genetics but rather living conditions also do matter as well. In our observation we have also found that the mortality rate of the liger cubs born at China was higher than the mortality rates of the liger cubs born at USA.

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Liger Cubs Mortality Rates.
Mortality Rates of the Liger Cubs. A best case scenario of one Tigress in China named as Huan Huan 

However, an inexperienced tigress, giving birth to liger potentially increases the mortality and Death rates of the liger cubs. If we look at the Death and Mortality statistics of the tigress which has given birth to 12 ligers, the first death was when the tigress was having first delivery, while the second mortality was when tigress gave birth to quadruplets. It is very common for the big cats in captivity to abandon their cubs at their first birth. So this can be a cause of mortality rate and this is not genetic indeed.

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Liger Cubs Deaths are dependent on their mothers.
If the Tigress is inexperience, then in that case the liger cubs mortality rate is higher. On the other hand; the same statistics are true about the mortality and death rates of the other big cats as well. Mothers have a key role here regarding death rates of the liger cubs. This picture belongs 

Myrtle Beach Safari (A Liger Zoo also named as The Institute of Greatly Endangered and Rare Species T.I.G.E.R.S.) has a record of maximum numbers of liger births than any other zoo in the world. According to observations at this Myrtle Beach Safari, none of the liger cubs experienced any mortality at the time of their births. So this is perhaps the strongest example which shows that the Mortality rates of the Liger Cubs is as normal as that of the lion and tiger cub.

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Liger Cubs Survival in China from the Tigress named as Huan Huan.
A Tigress named as Huan Huan gave birth to about 12 liger cubs. Out of these 12 liger cubs, 10 are still alive. This statistic is very healthy regarding the survival rates of the liger cubs. This picture belongs to Dusting Holmes 

Therefore; all of this discussion specifically prove that the mortality rates of the liger cubs are as normal as lion and tigers cubs. There has not been any evidence of high mortality rates that has been recorded. This study also negates the high mortality rates of the liger cubs as well. Therefore, these statistics do not indicate any relationship in between high mortality rates of the liger cubs being born.

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Liger cubs mortality rate is just as normal as that of the lions and tigers
Mortality Rate of the Liger Cubs is as normal as that of the lions and tigers within the capctivity. It is not genetic related issue but rather a care related issue. Photo Courtesy of