03/01/2012 03:03 pm ET Updated Mar 01, 2012

Lioness Gives Birth To Tigon Cubs In China (VIDEO)

There is nothing more adorable than a litter of newborn baby animals, but these cubs are special for another reason beyond their cuteness.

According to the Associated Press, a lioness in China has given birth to two lion-tiger crossbreeds and one purebred lion in the same litter, marking a world first.

This video clip shot in Changzhou, China, includes footage of the cubs playing and eating, along with shots of the mother lionness walking alongside a male tiger, presumed to be the father.

PBS explains how the so-called "tigons" and "ligers" are produced through interspecies breeding:

Although they rarely meet in the wild, lions and tigers are still so closely related that they are able to interbreed, and in captivity they occasionally do. But successful interbreeding is the key, and the hybrid offspring are usually sterile and short-lived.

While the population of African lions is said to be shrinking, Asian lions are even more rare, qualifying as an endangered species. Meanwhile, all sub-species of tigers are considered critically endangered.

Can't get enough cute baby lions? Check out this video of a pair of new born cubs trying to propel themselves out of a massive cup at the Ukutula National Park And Lodge in South Africa.

Other recent and equally adorable videos include these orphaned baby wombats playing in a sanctuary and this koala running down a hall at the Edinburgh Zoo.

Watch the adorable video above.

SLIDESHOW: More Cute Baby Animals:



Endangered Animals