A liger cub born in eastern China on May 13 rests after birth. (Screengrab from Channel 9 News)

One male and one female survived, while two other cubs who were not born healthy died, Colorado’s Channel 9 News reported.

A liger is a cross between a male lion and a female tiger, which means it has parents of the same genus but different species. Ligers were popularized by the 2004 movie Napoleon Dynamite, whose main character Napoleon said a liger was “bred for its skills in magic.”

According to Chinese state television, there are only about 20 ligers alive today.

Zhou Xiaoguang, a feeder for the liger cubs, told Channel 9 that the cubs had been “struggling to survive” since their birth on May 13 but were “back to normal now.”

Watch a video of the newborn ligers:

A farm in Taiwan that bred two ligers Taiwan in August 2010 faced a fine for violating wildlife rules. Watch a video of those newborn ligers:

More photos of ligers:


In this photo released by China's official Xinhua news agency, a liger named An An rests on the ground in the Hainan Tropical Wildlife Park in Haikou, capital of south China's Hainan province,on May 27, 2007. (Mao Siqia/AP)

Ligers can be dangerous. This 2008 photo shows Rocky, a liger at Safari's Interactive Animal Sanctuary in Broken Arrow, Okla., who gashed a park volunteer on Oct. 29, 2008. Officials at St. John Medical Center said the volunteer later died of his wounds. (Kat Knight/AP)