A lioness has given birth to two mixed lion-tiger cubs, and a pure-bred lion cub, all from the same womb, making itself the first in the world to ever do so.
The lioness, named Mary, mated with a lion and a tiger separately, before she gave birth to the cubs. Unfortunately, one of the mixed lion-tiger cubs, also known as a “tigon” cub, died soon after it was born. Mary now has two of her cubs living together.
Xu Tianci, one of Mary’s caretakers, said that as tigers and lions are different species, there is only one or two percent chance for them to successfully conceive babies, and their cubs will find it very difficult to stay alive.
“Conceiving tigons have a two hundred thousandths of percent success rate. There are less than ten known tigons in the world today,” said Xu.