Napoleon Dynamite famously stated that a “liger” was “pretty much his favorite animal”. He went on to explain that it was a lion and a tiger mixed, bred for its skill in magic. While the magic part is questionable, ligers really do exist in the world, not just on the silver screen – they are a cross between a male lion and a female tiger (a tigress), just like Mr. Dynamite stated. However, ligers are an accidental zoo creation only, since tigers and lions don’t “hook up” in the wild.
In fact, four ligers were recently born at the Xixiakou Wildlife Zoo located in Eastern China. Unfortunately the mother tiger only fed her cubs for the first four days before abandoning them. Sadly, two of the cubs died, but the other two have found themselves a new mother – a dog. Zoo officials discovered a dog that had just given birth and hooked the liger cubs up with her. After some difficulty nursing from their new mother in the early going, the liger cubs have caught on and are feeding fine with their new canine brothers and sisters. Which is good news for the world, considering ligers are rather rare. And it is definitely good news for Napoleon Dynamite.