Russia: Meet TIGON! First lioness and tiger cross-breed cub born in Russia

A rare tiger and lioness cross-breed cub was shown to the public at Russia's Korona circus in Podolsk, Moscow region on Monday. The so-called 'tigon' was born last Thursday, to parents Sofa, a lioness, and Sultan, a tiger.
According to the tamer and director of the circus, Oleg Plakhteyev, the cub is a result of an "outstanding occasion when a lioness lives with a tiger and they feel love for each other. They hug each other, sleep together, 'kiss' each other."
Currently the little cub, whose gender is yet to be determined, is doing well and is being taken care of by its mother, the lioness.
Plakhteyev expressed hopes that the cub would become a new star of the Korona circus after a year or two. "This is the first tigon in the history of the Russian circus. We would like him to take an active part in our program called Empire of Predators together with its parents, brothers and sisters" he added.
The tigons are rare animals. They do not exist in the wild and are not as common as the converse hybrid, the liger, which is a breed created from a male lion and female tiger. Usually they do not exceed the size of their parent's species but can exceed their weight and have have visible characteristics from both parents. Sometimes they can have both spots from the mother and stripes from the father but as cross-breeds of lions and tigers they often turn out to be sterile.