Illegally Conceived Genetically Defective Liger Turns 7

A lion-tiger hybrid born on a tourist farm in 2010 in circumstances that breached Taiwan’s Wildlife Conservation Law turned 7 years old last month.

The animal’s low-key birthday was reported in various local media outlets today, after the story was originally posted on Facebook by National Pingtung University of Science and technology’s (NPUST) Center for Wildlife Conservation and Management October 23.

Ah Biao, as he is nicknamed, was born in 2010 at the tourism-oriented World Snake King Educational Farm in Tainan in 2010 after the managers cross-bred a male African lion with a female Bengal tiger. The result of the experiment produced three offspring which the breeders touted as the first Ligers produced in Taiwan.

One of the cubs died at birth, and another survived just one week. The surviving sibling, Ah Biao, was confiscated by the Council of Agriculture as his birth had contravened Taiwan’s Wildlife Conservation Law.

Ah Biao suffered from congenital defects, including a malformed tail, hip problems, spinal curvature, and an immobile left-rear leg. Ah Biao was taken to NPUST’s Center for Wildlife Conservation and Management, where he resides to this day. Weighing just 680 grams when he arrived, today he weighs 165 kilograms and has a body-length of 170 centimeters.

Despite the problems Ah Biao experiences due to his physical disabilities, he is well-loved by his carers who say he is friendly, obedient, and enjoys a back-rub just like any other cat.

Carers prepared a special food platter as a birthday treat.

Liger at a wildlife conservation center in Pingtung County
Ah Bian, a favorite of staff at NPUST’s Wildlife Conservation and Management Center in Pingtung County, Taiwan.

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