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A White Lion And White Tiger Had Four Babies Together

The world's rarest cats have been born, and these four babies are totally adorable—and probably unlike anything you’ve ever seen before.  The four cubs, all male, are officially known as 'ligers', or lion-tiger hybrids.

While ligers are rare enough on their own, these four little guys are even more rare, because both of their parents are rare white felines.

Together, lions and tigers can mate and produce tigons (when a male tiger mates with a female lion) or ligers (when a male lion mates with a female tiger). The hybrids are extremely rare, as it is, but when the two parents are both white animals, it is exceptionally rare.

Ivory, a white African lion, is the father of the litter. There are only 300 white lions in the world, so he himself is a rare breed.

The mother, Saraswati, is a snow-white Bengal tiger. There are only 1,200 white tigers left in the world, and most are in captivity.

The four cubs, named Yeti, Odlin, Sampson and Apolo, are the first and only white ligers ever, and they might be the last considering how both lions and tigers are endangered species. When they grow, they will be the rarest of all cats on the planet.

Tigers are usually very solitary creatures. Ligers are more like lions — they are very social creatures.  One thing the ligers do get from their tiger bloodline, however, is a love of swimming and water.

Ivory and Saraswati were brought together for breeding at Myrtle Beach Safari in South Carolina. The safari home is the only place in the world where animals can be seen running in captivity, just like they do in the wild.

The safari park uses cat lures, like mop heads, to get the cats to run and play. Big cats, not unlike their domesticated cousins, just love to chase and play with yarn pulled along on a string.

They get rewarded with baby bottles of milk and bits of beef after running and playing, and the exercises is actually healthy for the cats — physically, and psychologically.

The cubs were born six weeks ago and weigh about 15 pounds, but they're growing every day.

“I skip a day seeing them and it looks like they’ve doubled in size. It’s like someone’s blowing them up with a tire pump," says Dr. Bhagavan Antle, founder and director of the sanctuary.

According to their caretakers, the cubs have very distinct personalities. Apolo, they say, is like a lap kitty who loves to purr as he's pet. Yeti, on the other hand, is the loudest and most rambunctious of the four cats. He demands the most attention.

The cats already have a famous uncle: a white tiger named Hercules, who made it in the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest cat. He's 922 pounds, and 131 inches long from nose to tail. His nephew Yeti, however, might actually beat his record.  

Ligers typically grow larger than either of their parents.  

It should be interesting seeing the cats grow and thrive in the sanctuary, and how they look when they are older.

Source: Animal Channel
Photo: YouTube

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