Sun, Aug 22, 2010 - Page 2 News List

Second ‘liger’ cub dies, remaining cub in critical condition

STAFF WRITER, WITH CNA

A male “liger” cub — an illegally bred cross between a male lion and a tigress — died on Friday, with another listed in critical condition, an animal shelter said yesterday.

Pei Jai-chyi (裴家騏), director of National Pingtung University of Science and Technology’s Protected Animal Rescue Center in southern Taiwan, said the two ligers were in poor condition when they were brought to the center on Monday.

“The two ligers were obviously underweight and had weak immune systems when they arrived,” Pei said.

He said the animals have a poor chance of survival and are also prone to genetic problems.

“Ligers usually suffer from genetic problems due to the cross-breeding of the two species, putting the cubs in a dangerous situation from the moment they are born,” he said.

He added that the two cubs had been in intensive care since their arrival, which meant there had been no opportunity to conduct health checks on them.

Pei said the male cub was sent for an autopsy after it died and was found to have accumulated fluid in its lungs. It also had a distended kidney and spleen.

They were two of three ligers born to a tigeress in a private zoo in southern Taiwan. One of the cubs died of hypothermia shortly after birth, while the remaining two were confiscated and taken to the center for intensive care.

Huang Kuo-nan (黃國男), the owner of the zoo in Tainan County, has been accused of violating the Wildlife Conservation Act (野生動物保育法) and fined NT$50,000 (US$1,565) for allowing the animals to breed, an amount criticized by an animal protection group as being “too little to pay for such illegal behavior.”

Commenting on the case, Tainan County Commissioner Su Huan-chih (蘇煥智) said he found the Council of Agriculture’s (COA) decision to relocate the cubs inappropriate as Huang, the original owner, has years of experience taking care of the animals and knows how to take care of them.

CORRECTION

In Saturday’s editorial on page 8, we said that the Taiwan Power Co (Taipower) had awarded a tender for firefighting responsibilities at the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant to the sole bidder. In fact, Taipower halted the awarding of the tender at the last minute and launched a review after questions were raised. The Taipei Times regrets the error.


If the COA had informed him prior to the decision, he would have insisted on not relocating the cubs, Su said.

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