Dog nurses ligers after tiger mum refuses

Last updated 10:00 25/05/2011

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A Chinese zoo official says two rare cubs born to a male lion and a female tiger are being nursed by a dog after they were abandoned by their mother.

Cong Wen of Xixiakou Wildlife Zoo in eastern China says four cubs called ligers were born to the lion and tiger earlier this month.

She said yesterday (NZ time) the tiger mother fed the ligers for four days but then abandoned them for unknown reasons. Two died of weakness.

Cong said staff at the zoo in Shandong province found a dog who had just given birth to feed the surviving cubs.

She said the two cubs had trouble at first drinking milk from the dog but are now used to it.

Ligers are very rare and are sometimes bred in zoos by mistake.

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- AP

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