2-year old liger expensive to raise: shelter manager


Taipei, July 8 (CNA) A two-year old liger — a crossing of a tiger and lion — being cared for at a protected wildlife shelter in Taiwan’s southeastern Pingtung County has genetic defects, which cost the shelter some NT$200,000 (US$5,979) per month to raise, the shelter’s manager said Sunday.


The male cub, the only survivor of three that were born Aug. 15, 2010 to a tigress that was illegally mated with a lion at a privately run leisure farm in Tainan County, now weighs 90.85 kg, up from 680 g when it was first taken in at the shelter, according to Pei Jai-chyi.


The cub is currently in stable condition but has suffered from a variety of symptoms, including an S-shape spinal cord, and a rigid, unbendable left hind leg, Pei said.


A CT-scan of the cub in May this year shows the animal has deformed ribs, which limit the space available for the lungs to expand, making it prone to developing respiratory problems in the future, he said.


So far, the shelter has spent more than NT$2 million to raise the liger, he added.


The oldest known liger is 20 years old, Pei said, adding that the cub is expected to live until 10 years old.


(By Kuo Chu-che)  2012/07/08 18:34:17