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Liger cubs adopted by dog

A dog nurses two rare liger cubs at Xixiakou Wildlife Zoo in Weihai in east China's Shandong province, May 19, 2011. A zoo official said cubs born to a female tiger and a male lion on May 13 were rejected by the mother. Chinese zoo workers brought in a dog to nurse them instead.
AP Photo

(CBS/AP) - Two rare liger cubs are being nursed by a dog after they were abandoned by their tiger mother, according to a Chinese zoo official.

Cong Wen of Xixiakou Wildlife Zoo in eastern China says four cubs called ligers were born to the lion and tiger earlier this month.

She said Tuesday the tiger mother fed the ligers for four days but then abandoned them for unknown reasons. Two died of weakness.

Cong said staff at the zoo in Shandong province found a dog who had just given birth to feed the surviving cubs. She said the two cubs had trouble at first drinking milk from the dog but are now used to it.

Ligers are very rare and are sometimes bred in zoos by mistake. But sometimes, even mistakes can be adorable.