March 6 - A lioness gives birth to a pair of tiger-lion hybrids and a lion cub in the same litter in eastern China. Tara Cleary reports.
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PLEASE NOTE: THIS EDIT CONTAINS CONVERTED 4:3 MATERIAL
Tigon cubs - hybrids of a lioness and a male tiger - born at a wildlife park in eastern China.
A park spokesman says the tigon is smaller and rarer than its tigress/lion equivalent, the liger.
SOUNDBITE: Xu Tianci, Manager of the Animal Care Department, Yancheng Wildlife Park, saying (Mandarin):
"Tigers and lions belong to the same family but are different species. Their genetic make-up is different. So after they mate, the fertility rate is only 1 to 2 percent. Secondly, the cubs' survival rate is very low. A liger's survival rate is 1 in 100,000, and a tigon only 1 in 500,000. There are fewer than 10 tigons in the world."
One tigon died soon after birth - the surviving cub is under 24-hour care.
Tara Cleary, Reuters.
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