Can Ligers Reproduce?

Most ligers, offspring of male lions and female tigers, are sterile and cannot reproduce. However, in 2012, a cub was born to a liger mother and lion father in a Russian zoo. This new type of animal was named a "liliger."

Even though their common ancestor dates back about 7 million years, lions and tigers still have enough genetic similarities to reproduce successfully. Mating of lions and tigers only occurs in captivity because, in the wild, the two species do not live in the same regions. However, in zoos, breeding animals sometimes have no other options, and mating occurs. Many zoos, such as members of North America's Association of Zoos and Aquariums, do not support the development of new species and do not provide opportunities for mating.