The history of these hybrids has been very carefully worked out by Professor Valentine Bail, Director of the Science and Art Museum, Dublin, from whose papers the following account is taken. The parents of these hybrids were in a travelling menagerie owned at first by Mr. Thomas Atkins, and subsequently by his son Mr. John Atkins; and a total of six litters of hybrids were produced between the years 1824 and 1833. The parent Lion was bred in the menagerie from a Barbary Lion and a Senegal Lioness; while the Tigress was born in the collection of the Marquis of Hastings at Calcutta, and was purchased when about eighteen months old from a shipâ€™s captain, to whom she had been given by her original owner. Being of the same age as the Lion, she was placed with him in the same cage ; and in the course of two years proved to be in cub. The following is a record of the six litters produced by the union of this pair.
First Litter: Born October the 24th, 1824, at Windsor, and comprising two males and a female. They were nourished by a female terrier, but all perished within a year of their birth. These cubs were exhibited to King George the Fourth, at the Royal Cottage, Windsor, on the final of November, by whom they were christened Lion-Tigers.
Second Litter: Born April 22nd, 1825, at Clapham Common; there were three cubs, sexes not recorded. Reared by the mother, as also were all the subsequent litters. They only lived a short time.
Third Litter: Born December 31st, 1826 or 1827, at Edinburgh; one male and two females . Mr. Ball states that the year is given as 1827 in the handbill of the menagerie from which he quotes, and the other references seem to support that date; but Mr. John Atkins says it is given as 1826 in a printed catalogue in his possession. These only lived a few months. The skin of one of them, forming the subject of Plate III,, is preserved in the Science and Art Museum at Edinburgh, and a second is in the British Museum. Sir William Jardine remarks that â€œthe colour was brighter than that of the Lion, and the bands were better marked than they generally are in the young of tire true breed.â€ Indeed, from his figure, the animal has more the appearance of a Tiger than of a Lion. Writing of the cubs of the first litter in the â€œLibrary of Entertaining Knowledge,â€ where one of them was figured, Griffith observes that “our mules, in common with ordinary Lions, were born without any traces of a mane, or of a tuft at the end of the tail. Their fur in general was rather woolly; the external ear was pendant towards the extremity; the nails were constantly out, and not cased in the sheath, and in these particulars they agreed with the common cubs of Lions. Their colour was dirty yellow or blanket-colour; but from the nose over the head, along the back and upper side of the tail, the colour was much darker, and on these parts the transverse stripes were stronger, and the forehead was covered with obscure spots, slighter indications of which also appeared on other parts of the body. The shape of the head, as appears by the figures, is assimilated to that of the father (the Lion) ; the superficies of the body on the other hand is like that of the Tigress.â€
Fourth Litter: Born October 2nd, 1828, at Windsor; one male and two females.
Fifth Litter: Born May, 1831, at Kensington, three cubs, sexes not recorded. They were shown to the Queen, then Princess Victoria, and to the Duchess of Kent. The whole group performed in a specially constructed cage at Astleyâ€™s Amphitheatre, and in 1832 were taken by Mr. Atkins for a tour in Ireland
Sixth Litter: Born July 19th, 1833, at the Zoological Gardens, Liverpool; one male and two females. One, the male, lived for ten years in the Gardens. The young male Lion-Tigers when about three years old had a short mane, something like that of an Asiatic Lion; and the stripes became very indistinct at that age.
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