COUPLE RESCUED FROM BREEDING ‘LIGERS’

Couple Rescued From Breeding ‘Ligers’

It is thought that the big cats, both 11, were to be bred to produce Ligers, a hybrid big cat which would never have come into being in the wild.

Couple Rescued From Breeding ‘Ligers’ 

Couple Rescued From Breeding ‘Ligers’

Couple Rescued From Breeding ‘Ligers’ Retires Together

This couple has been together forever 💞 Cam and Zabu were rescued from a roadside zoo where they were used to breed 'ligers.' Today on Odd Couples, watch them adjust to the good life at their new sanctuary — running, playing and swimming side by side all day every day.

Posted by Odd Couples on Thursday, December 14, 2017

Couple Rescued From Breeding ‘Ligers’

Life wasn’t always easy for this lion named Cameron and his white tigress Zabu. They were bred at a zoo in New England back in 2000 for one purpose only –  to make ligers. Zabu, a Siberian-Bengal hybrid, had genetic flaws due to breeding and Cameron was 200 pounds underweight. Luckily, in 2004 they were both rescued from the zoo.

When Zabu and Cameron were rescued, we constructed a large natural enclosure for the two of them to share since they are truly bonded as a couple, the Florida-based Big Cat Rescue writes. However, Cameron was getting extremely possessive of Zabu and became a threat to his keepers, so it was decided to neuter him (Zabu was spayed, too.) Sadly, Cameron lost his glorious mane but that’s a small price to pay to stay together with his best friend.

Cameron’s mood has mellowed dramatically and he seems much more comfortable in the hot Florida summers without the extra 15 pounds of fur around his neck. He has even become much more playful since he no longer worries about everything that is going on around his enclosure. The two enjoy each other’s company to this day, running around, nuzzling, and taking peaceful naps.

This lion and his tigress were bred at a zoo to make ligers (a hybrid cross between a lion and a tiger)

 Here’s something you don’t see every day. These majestic and powerful big cats enjoying each others’ company and indulging in a spot of play-fighting.However, a meeting between two such ferocious predators would have been impossible in the wild as these two lethal animals hail from different continents.

Cameron the lion and Zabu the white tiger, now spend most of the day play-fighting, eating and relaxing.

Play-fighting predators: They might be ferocious enemies if they ever met in the wild, but these big cats seem to be the best of friends as they wrestle at an animal rescue centre

Couple Rescued From Breeding ‘Ligers’ Retires Together

Play-fighting predators: They might be ferocious enemies if they ever met in the wild, but these big cats seem to be the best of friends as they wrestle at an animal rescue centre

Ferocious fighters... but it's only a game: Lion Cameron and white tiger Zabu are aptly-nicknamed The Odd Couple by their carers at Big Cat Rescue in Florida

 

Ferocious fighters… but it’s only a game: Lion Cameron and white tiger Zabu are aptly-nicknamed The Odd Couple by their carers at Big Cat Rescue in Florida

The feline duo – aptly nicknamed The Odd Couple by their caretakers at Big Cat Rescue in Florida – were rescued from a roadside zoo around eight years ago.

It is thought that the big cats, both 11, were to be bred to produce Ligers, a hybrid big cat which would never have come into being in the wild.

However, the lifelong friends now enjoy a much more spacious two-acre pad at their Florida home, where play-fighting and sleeping seem to be the order of the day.

Jeff Kremer, a spokesperson for Big Cat Rescue, said: ‘Since Cameron and Zabu were true companions, we had to do whatever we could to make a long life together possible for them.

Companions: The feline duo were rescued from a roadside zoo eight years ago

Companions: The feline duo were rescued from a roadside zoo eight years ago

‘We built an extra large cat-a-tat for them to share since they are truly bonded as a couple.

‘Cameron received a vasectomy and Zabu later was spayed in order to assure that no breeding of any kind could occur.

‘Reuniting them after their time apart during surgery was a special moment and they are now very happy and very popular residents of our sanctuary.’

Contrary to their easy life at the rescue centre, both Cameron and Zabu had a less auspicious start to life, touring the United States as part of a roadside zoo.

It's a hard life: The big cats laze in the shade, taking a break from their busy schedule of play-fighting, eating and sleeping

It’s a hard life: The big cats laze in the shade, taking a break from their busy schedule of play-fighting, eating and sleeping

Jeff said that prior to Cameron’s rescue, the magnificent lion had lost over 200 pounds due to starvation, and the first thing Zabu did when she arrived at the centre was scrub her dirty fur on the walls of her pool.

However, thanks to the skill and expertise of the rescue team both creatures were able fight back to fitness.

Jeff said: ‘While Cameron tries to sleep most of the day away – as lions do in the wild – Zabu is extremely energetic and is always pestering him to play.

‘She’ll often give up on him and just run and jump and play with her big red Planet Ball.

‘Of course, that’s after she’s tired of playfully stalking her keepers or trying to spray the groups of visitors that stop by everyday. She’s a mischievous girl!’

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