Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Another Pointless Breeding


The Xixiakou Zoo in Shandong province in Eastern China has managed to breed a litter of Ligers. Born on May 13th. Big news? Definitely popular with the papers and no doubt there will be video footage as well. An African Lion and a Manchurian?? Tiger.

It is a pointless breeding. It is not clever, it serves no purpose. These unfortunate little creatures are purposely produced freaks. They are of no conservation value and have no place in the modern zoological garden. All it has really done is confirm this collection a place in the infamous group of dysfunctional zoos.

Why were the Lion and Tiger parents placed together in the first place? To deliberately produce freaks? Or was it an accident?.... (Ligers are very rare and are sometimes bred in zoos by mistake) something which other collections have claimed. Anyone who knows anything about big cats would have seen the signals. They would have known it was going to happen.

There were four cubs born which were, apparently, feeding for four days before they were abandoned by the mother and so they had to be hand reared. If the mother had been provided with the proper facilities there would have been no way that staff would have known there were four cubs let alone that she was not feeding them. No sorry, they interfered. That is why she left them. In fact it was probably likely that they were deliberately pulled anyway.

So a dog was brought in to feed them. Cute, photogenic and done so many times before. It never fails to capture the attention of the press. What makes this deliberate breeding of freak show animals is that a white tiger was used. A white tiger of course is an unnatural creature in its own right. True enough they do rarely occur in the wild. In captivity they are a result of deliberate inbreeding, breeding brother to sister and mother to son. Often these are sub specific hybrids as well.

All in all this breeding is a mess.....another pointless breeding.

Note: Interesting to note that this story when reported in China Daily makes only mention of White Tigers and NOT Ligers. "An 8-year-old white tiger mother gave birth on Friday morning to four cubs belonging to a relatively rare species after..."


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