Ligers and kiwis: Cute-animal roundup

Mike Krumboltz

Gazing at snaps of adorable baby animals is one of the most reliable timewasters on the Internet. Cute animal lovers, today is your lucky day.

First up: a litter of ligers from China. Ligers--half lion, half tiger--are 100 percent adorable. The ligers were born in a zoo in China to a tiger who abandoned the babies. Two died from weakness, but two survived, thanks to the help of a very motherly dog.

The dog, pictured here, has been nursing the remaining baby ligers, along with her own litter of pups. According to zoo staff staff member the ligers initially had trouble nursing, but have now adapted.

News of the baby ligers and their adoptive mother sparked no small number of web searches. Over the past 24 hours, online lookups for "liger cubs" and "liger baby pictures" both roared into breakout status.

But that's not all, cute-animal fans. Down in New Zealand, an equally adorable all-white kiwi chick was hatched earlier this month.

The chick's name is Manukura (which means "precious chief") and, as Pukaha Mount board chairman Bob Francis, told CNN, it is "the first all-white chick to be hatched in captivity."

The kiwi is the national bird of New Zealand, Francis notes. The birds are extremely rare, and pure white kiwis (not to be confused with albino birds) are especially uncommon as their color makes it difficult for them to hide from predators.

"For the time being, the chick is being hand-reared in the sanctuary's kiwi nursery, where bird lovers can see him during his daily weigh-in," AAP reports.

"While we're celebrating all 14 kiwi hatched this year," Jason Kerehi, the Rangitane tribe's chief executive and a Pukaha board member, remarked, "Manukura is a very special gift."

Watch a video of the liger cubs below: