These adorable cubs may look cute and unassuming but they are in fact the rarest of their species – and could grow to be the biggest cats in the world.
The four handsome male ‘liger’ cubs are the first ever to be born from a white male lion and white female tiger, making them the world’s most unique big cats.
There are only around 300 white lions and 1,200 white tigers left in the world, so the cubs’ father, Ivory and mother, Saraswati, are extremely rare in their own right.
But now, having been brought together at Myrtle Beach Safari in South Carolina, they have produced the first ever white lion-tiger hybrids – commonly known as ligers.
There are around 1,000 ligers in the world – most in captivity – but none of them are white.
Born only six weeks ago, the young animals already weigh 15lbs and gain on average a pound in weight every day.
And the boys, named Yeti, Odlin, Sampson and Apollo, already have their own personalities.
Apollo is the smallest, who his owners say behaves more like a house kitten, purring all the time and always demanding to be stroked.
Yeti is the biggest and most boisterous, pushing past his smaller brothers and always wanting to be the centre of attention.
The cubs’ uncle, Hercules, is officially the world’s largest cat at 922 lbs and 131 inches long and is featured in the Guinness Book of World Records.
Founder and director of the safari, Dr. Bhagavan Antle, who bred the animals, says he is sure Yeti will reach this size – if not larger.
I am convinced Yeti will make the Guinness Book of Records. He’s so big already – he has such a big, fat head and paws.
All the cubs grow so quickly, but Yeti is already so much bigger.
‘I skip a day seeing them and it looks like they’ve doubled in size. It’s like someone’s blowing them up with a tyre pump.’
Dr Antle, who set up the safari 31 years ago and had his first litter of ligers in 1988, said: ‘People are getting on planes to fly in to see them.
We’ve had everyone from Congress to people of all walks of life come. They are honestly such an incredibly unique sight.
They have a beautiful creamy colour that I’ve never seen on a cat before.
The cubs are expected to reach 10ft tall by two years old and weigh around 750lbs.
When they are four-years-old they could weight over 900lbs.
Their father, Ivory, is a white African lion and their mother, Saraswati, is a snow white Bengal tiger.
Ligers tend to enjoy swimming, which is a characteristic of tigers, and are sociable like lions.
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