A dog nurses two liger cubs at a zoo in Weihai in east China's Shandong province. (AP)

When the story of the newborn ligers broke Monday, people were so excited about the adorable babies born to a tiger mother and a lion father, that they didn’t pay any attention to where the liger cubs were: nursing from a dog. (See Liz Flock’s post from Monday when the news anchors only notice at the tail end that the dog is there. “We have no idea why,” one says.)

It turns out the dog is their new adopted mother. The real mom rejected the cubs after four days. Two of them died from weakness after she stopped nursing for a reason the zoo’s staff doesn’t fully understand. Thankfully, the staff at the zoo found a dog who had just given birth to a litter and welcomed to the two surviving cubs. It’s a total explosion of breed mashup cuteness.

I’m with Napoleon Dynamite on this one: ligers are my new favorite animal.