In 2013, when the hybrid cubs of a cross between a white lion and a white tiger were born, there were only about 300 white lions and 1200 white tigers left in the world. The breeding produced the only white "ligers" in the world.
Four male cubs were the result of the breeding between Ivory, the cubs' father and Saraswati, their mother. These two, being of an almost extinct species, are extremely rare themselves. But not as rare as their babies!
The "little" ones were born at Myrtle Beach Safari in South Carolina. They are among the 1,000 ligers in the world (most in captivity). However, they are the only white ligers in existence!
The cuddly-looking babies are named Yeti, Odlin, Sampson and Apollo. The little one, Apollo, is somewhat like a house cat, purring every time he's petted. The biggest one, Yeti, takes after his uncle, Hercules, officially the world's largest cat. (Hercules is in the Guinness Book of World Records, weighing in at 922 pounds and an astounding 131 inches long.)
Dr. Bhagavan Antle, the founder and director of the safari and breeder of the cubs, is sure Yeti will be even bigger.
Yeti is much bigger than his brothers. Dr Antle founded the safari in 1982 and produced the first ligers in 1988. She says people come from all over to see them. ‘We’ve had everyone from Congress to people of all walks of life come. They are honestly such an incredibly unique sight," she says.
Although their parents are big, the cubs could be much bigger. At their current age in 2017, they weigh over 900 pounds.
Ivory, their father, is a white African lion. Saraswati, the mom, is a snow-white Bengal tiger. They get their sociability from the lion side and their love of swimming from their tiger background.
Some people think breeding lions and tigers is irresponsible. We think they are beautiful and unique. Read the story and decide for yourself. Are you in favor of these hybrid beauties, or do you think it's "messing with Mother Nature"? Let us know in the comments!