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The Liger - The Largest of the "Big Cats"

Liger couple.

Liger couple.

What Is a Liger?

What is a liger, you ask? It is the result of mating a male lion with a female tiger. They are said to have the strength of a lion and the speed of a tiger. The liger is the biggest of the "big cats" and is one of the most beautiful big cats in existence. But, how did this happen? Some of the first cross breedings of the lion and the tiger were probably the result of accidents in zoos or animal parks. The habitats of lions and tigers typically do not overlap, therefore you will only see a liger in captivity. However, because these are such unusually large and beautiful animals, there are some zoos and animal parks around the world that are intentionally breeding these animals, mainly for the money they bring in.

Colour plate of the offspring of a lion and tiger, Étienne Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire

Colour plate of the offspring of a lion and tiger, Étienne Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire

History of the Liger

It has been said that the two habitats of the lion and the tiger never overlapped. That being said, there is a small, single population of the Asiatic Lion, also known as the Indian Lion, that lives in India's Gujarat State. Years ago, when the Indian Lion was prolific in this area, there is a possibility that these two habitats did overlap. There are legends of the liger living in the wild in this area. Others say that these two big cat species would sooner fight than mate if they did meet. However, the history of the liger goes as far back as the early 19th century in India. Documents and illustrations dating as far back as 1798 has also been found.

A male liger with short mane.

A male liger with short mane.

Description

Ligers have the tawney background color of the lion and faint stripe pattern of the tiger. Some ligers show a faint rosette pattern which is inherited from the lion parent. Lion cubs have a rosette pattern when young and some lions may retain a faint rosette pattern in adulthood. Male ligers may have a mane, but it will be much smaller than that of their father's and some males will have no mane at all.

Ligers are the largest of the "big cats". They get their huge size from what is called "hybrid vigor". Hybrid vigor is defined as "the improved or increased function of any biological quality in a hybrid offspring". They will grow to be larger than either of their parents. The liger can grow to be 10 to 12 feet long and weigh between 800 to 1,200. Tigers in comparison grow to be approximately 5 to 6 feet tall and weigh up to around 500 pounds.

Liger cubs playing in the water.

Liger cubs playing in the water.

Ligers teeth can reach up to 2 inches in length. They normally eat anywhere from 20 to 50 pounds of food at one "sitting", but can eat up to 100 pounds at a time, compared to the ususual 10 pounds of food eaten by a lion or a tiger. Ligers can both roar like a lion and chuff like a tiger. They are very social animals, which is a trait from their fathers. Lions are very social animals, unlike the tiger which is more of a loner. Ligers also love to swim and play in the water, a trait that comes from their mothers. Lions do not like to swim and almost never enter the water.

Kiara - Liliger, offspring of a female liger and a male lion.

Kiara - Liliger, offspring of a female liger and a male lion.

Breeding

It has been said that the ligers, being a hybrid breed, are sterile. However it is known that a female liger can reproduce. Howerver, a fertile male liger has yet to be discovererd. In 1943 a female liger was bred with a male lion, the result was a female cub, not normally healthy, but was raised to adulthood. In September of 2012, a Russian zoo announced the birth of a cub from a female liger and a male lion. The cub, called a "liliger", was named Kiara. At this time she appears to be a healthy cub.

Three liger cubs.

Three liger cubs.

Reproduction

After the mating of a male lion and a female tiger, gestation is approximately 100 days. At this time the tigress will give birth to 2 - 4 liger cubs. Just as with most big cat births, the cubs are blind and helpless. They will depend heavily on their mother for the first year of their life. Because of the cross-breeding of two different species, many cubs are born with birth defects and many do not live past their first week of life.

Hercules and his trainers.

Hercules and his trainers.

Hercules - The Largeset Living Liger

Hercules lives at the Jungle Island animal theme park in Miami, Florida. He is recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest living liger. The latest information has Hercules weighing in at just over 1,100 pounds and stands at approximately 12 feet high. He is reported to be a very healthy cat and is expected to live a long happy life there.

The largest liger ever known was Nook, who lived in an animal sanctuary in Wisconsin. Nook weighed in at 1,213 pounds and was approximately 12 feet long. Nook died in 2007 at the age of 21 years old.

Additional Information

Because ligers are such unusually large and beautiful animals, many zoos and animals parks are breeding these animals intentionally. As mentioned earlier, many liger cubs are born with birth defects due to the cross breeding of two different species. Yet, some ligers have lived as long as 21 years. Accredited zoos in the US frown on this cross breeding and lions and tigers and many countries around the world have been such breeding. In the US, you may find ligers in animals parks or rescue centers where most of them have been placed after being abandoned or neglected.

Should the intentionall breeding of these two species be continued? Is it right to create an animal such as this that will never be allowed to run free in the wild? Is it moral to intentionally breed these animals, just because we can?


Tell Me What You Think

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© 2013 Sheila Brown

Comments

Miebakagh Fiberesima from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA. on June 23, 2020:

sgbrown, I agreed with you. Creation should be in harmony-the like with its like. Many thanks.

Sheila Brown (author) from Southern Oklahoma on June 22, 2020:

I dislike it myself, but I have heard that they have stopped this breeding now. I hope what I heard was right.

Miebakagh Fiberesima from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA. on June 06, 2020:

sgbrown, this is interesting. But. I dislike the breeding method. Thanks for sharing.

Margie's Southern Kitchen from the USA on June 27, 2016:

Shelia, thanks to your hub I learn something new today! I have never heard of the liger. Very interesting and informative article! Thanks!

Sheila Brown (author) from Southern Oklahoma on October 27, 2015:

I don't agree with this cross breeding either. We need to spend our time and effort on saving what we have and not "messing with Mother Nature"! I appreciate your wonderful comment, thank you for stopping by! :)

Greensleeves Hubs from Essex, UK on October 24, 2015:

Interesting subject Sheila, and intriguing as to how they grow larger than either lions or tigers. I have also heard of 'tigons' - the result of a union between a male tiger and a female lion, though apparently these are less common, and no larger than the parent species due to a growth-inhibitory gene inherited from the lioness.

In the wild I guess the main barrier between lions and tigers interbreeding where their ranges overlap, would be the very different social behaviours of the two species.

I'm not really keen on the idea of deliberately cross-breeding lions and tigers, mainly because tigers are so endangered, and all effort should I think be devoted to producing more genuine tigers and lions rather than ligers. However, it's nonetheless fascinating to see the results of these hybridisations! Thanks for the article, Alun

Sheila Brown (author) from Southern Oklahoma on August 16, 2013:

Hi Rose! I am so glad you enjoyed my hub. Thank you for your kind comment and vote. It is always appreciated. Have a wonderful day! :)

rose-the planner from Toronto, Ontario-Canada on August 16, 2013:

Very insightful and interesting article! The Liger is beautiful and fascinating. Great hub! Thank you for sharing. (Voted Up) -Rose

Sheila Brown (author) from Southern Oklahoma on August 16, 2013:

Hello Mongoon! The liger is a beautiful and amazing animal. I was fortunate enough to see one at a wildlife rescue center near us. I am so glad you enjoyed my hub. Thank you for stopping by and commenting. Have a wonderful day! :)

Sheila Brown (author) from Southern Oklahoma on August 16, 2013:

Thank you Elizabeth! If the liger can't be released in the wild, which they can't, and they can't be domesticated, which they can't, then it just doesn't seem right to breed them. They are amazing, but should we just breed them to keep in zoos and wildlife parks? Some way, it just doesn't seem right to me.

Thank you for your comment, vote and share, it is always appreciated! :)

Elizabeth Parker from Las Vegas, NV on August 16, 2013:

Wow- as if lions and tigers aren't beautiful enough- these ligers are amazing looking. I don't know if they should be cross-bred-I'm still on the fence about that, but they are beautiful! Voted up and shared!!

Sheila Brown (author) from Southern Oklahoma on June 03, 2013:

Hi Suzie! How exciting to have been surrounded by tigers while on a safari! I would have loved that myself. (I'm glad you were inside a car!) I was fortunate enough to see a liger at an animal rescue center here in Oklahoma. It is sad that these beautiful animals are being bred for financial gain. The saddest fact is that they will never be able to live free in the wild. I also agree that the lion and tiger are two of our finest creatures and I love your comment on how they deserve our care, attention, respect and a life in the wild, very well put!

Thank you for your very kind comment, as well as all your support, it is greatly appreciated! Have a wonderful day, Suzie! :)

Suzanne Ridgeway from Dublin, Ireland on June 03, 2013:

Hi Sheila,

Something new I have learned today as i never knew of Ligers before. What an interesting and educational write you have given us on stunning cats. Tigers happen to be my favorite cat and have been surrounded by them once on safari (in the car I may add). Quite a magnificent and powerful animal up close and cannot imagine the two largest known ligers you mentioned. You have done a great job bringing us info on this "species" and your photos are stunning.

I do think it sad and wrong that the breeding is done in captivity only and for money purposes. The lion and tiger are two of our finest creatures and deserve care, attention, respect and a life in the wild.

Voted up, interesting, useful and shared! Pinned too to HP.

Sheila Brown (author) from Southern Oklahoma on May 21, 2013:

Hello Dolores! I'm sure there are many animals, such as the mule, that have been cross bred that didn't cause any problems. However, sometimes cross breeding is just a mistake, such as the liger and perhaps the English bulldog. We need to be more careful when "messing with mother nature". Ligers will never be domesticated animals, and yet are being bred to live their lives out in zoos. I think that is a shame. I learned something new from you today, I didn't know that English bull dogs had to undergo C sections when giving birth. This does sound very "unnatural" to me too. Thank you for your comment and for teaching me something new today! :)

Dolores Monet from East Coast, United States on May 20, 2013:

You've got me thinking about this one. Messing with mother nature is something that we humans do all the time. Look at the mule, an animal very important to the building of America. Look at the English bulldog, an animal that can not give live birth to it's young, but must always go C section because of the size of the puppies' heads. Talk about unnatural!

Sheila Brown (author) from Southern Oklahoma on May 18, 2013:

Hello ishwaryaa! I was fortunate enough to see a liger at an animal rescue park rear my home. They are truly amazing animals. However I do agree that the two separate species of lions and tigers should not be intentionally bred. The fact of so many cubs being born that don't live long should tell us that this is just not right. I'm glad you enjoyed my hub. Thank you for your very kind words and ALL your support. It is greatly appreciated!

Ishwaryaa Dhandapani from Chennai, India on May 17, 2013:

An extremely engaging and informative hub with amazing pictures! I have heard about ligers and seen the pictures of Hercules before. Yet I gained more knowledge about ligers thanks to you. I voted no in your poll. Once again, a wonderfully-written hub. Well-done!

Thanks for SHARING. Awesome & Interesting. Voted up & shared

Sheila Brown (author) from Southern Oklahoma on May 10, 2013:

Hi Suzanne! I read about the Grizzly bear and Polar bear mix. It sounds a little strange to me, the two should rather fight each other than mate. I agree with what you said earlier, this is not a good thing. I can only assume that with both of their natural habitats shrinking, two lonely bears met at just the right time. I too, think this is a bad sign environmentally.

justmesuzanne from Texas on May 09, 2013:

Right! There have been some Grizzly and Polar bear crosses identified in Alaska recently, and it is definitely a harbinger of bad things environmentally! :(

Sheila Brown (author) from Southern Oklahoma on May 09, 2013:

Hi Suzanne! The lion and tiger's paths should never cross in the wild. Perhaps they did many years ago, but no longer. I just don't agree with intentionally cross breeding two separate species. In my opion, they are two different species for a reason. Thank you for stopping in and commenting, it is always appreciated! Have a wonderful day! :)

Sheila Brown (author) from Southern Oklahoma on May 09, 2013:

Thank you GlimmerTwin Fan! I was fortunate enough to see a liger in a wildlife rescue park near here. They are really beautiful, but I also do not agree with cross breeding the two different species intentionally. Thank you for stopping by and commenting. It is always appreciated! Have a great day! :)

justmesuzanne from Texas on May 09, 2013:

Cross breeding by accident in the wild is an indication of loss of habitat and dearth of appropriate breeding partners, so if this happens by accident in the wild, it is not a good thing!

Claudia Mitchell on May 09, 2013:

This is really fascinating. I have never heard of a Liger. Don't agree with crossbreeding in captivity, but they really are beautiful animals. Neat hub!

Sheila Brown (author) from Southern Oklahoma on May 06, 2013:

Hi Suzanne! I agree, that is one BIG kitty cat! I, personally don't agree with the cross breeding of these two species. If it happened by accident, as some say the did, that's one thing, but to intentionally cross breed, to me is just against nature. I too think that the money and effort could be better used in maintaining habitats for the animals in the wild. Thank you for stopping in and commenting, I appreciate your votes too! Have a wonderful day! :)

justmesuzanne from Texas on May 05, 2013:

That's a big kitty cat! :D I don't know whether I agree with the cross or not. I think it might be better to put this effort and focus into maintaining habitat for the animals in the wild rather than domesticating wild animals.

Voted up and interesting! :)

Sheila Brown (author) from Southern Oklahoma on April 30, 2013:

Hello Prasetio! I am so glad you enjoyed my hub! Thank you for stopping by and leaving such a kind comment. I always enjoy hearing from you! Have a wonderful day! :)

prasetio30 from malang-indonesia on April 29, 2013:

Very informative hub. It's really the big cat indeed. I learn so much about the liger. I also enjoy the pictures and the video as well. Thanks for writing and sharing with us. Voted up and awesome :-)

Prasetio

Sheila Brown (author) from Southern Oklahoma on April 28, 2013:

Hello Suzette! I'm glad you enjoyed my hub. I agree, those that were by accident is one thing, but to breed these two different species intentionally, I just don't think is right. Many countries around the world are frowning on this cross breeding and some have completely outlawed it. I personally don't think we need to be messing with "mother nature". Thank you for stopping in and leaving such a wonderful comment, it is always appreciated! :)

Sheila Brown (author) from Southern Oklahoma on April 28, 2013:

Hello srsddn! I agree that the mating of these two different species should not be incouraged. There are different species for a reason and if the two mating, does not happen in nature, we should not be interfering. Thank you for your kind comment, vote and share! Have a wonderful day! :)

Suzette Walker from Taos, NM on April 28, 2013:

I had not heard or seen a liger before this hub. This is so interesting and informative. I don't know about breeding them. If they can't run in the wild then we only breed them for captivity in zoos. On one hand it seems heartless, on the other if it originally happened by accident we can't help that. They are beautiful animals. I just hope they aren't too screwed up in the head. Thanks for an interesting hub.

Sukhdev Shukla from Dehra Dun, India on April 27, 2013:

Hi, Sheila, I was not aware of it though you have mentioned about Gujarat. The issue of intentional mating the two is rather ethical and I think in view of the known results it should not be encouraged. Thanks for highlighting the issue as well the largest Big Cat. Voted up and shared.

Sheila Brown (author) from Southern Oklahoma on April 27, 2013:

Hello georgialgal! I'm glad you enjoyed my hub. Thank you for your kind comment. You have a wonderful day as well! :)

Sheila Brown (author) from Southern Oklahoma on April 27, 2013:

Hello Au fait! I was fortunate enough to see a liger at the animal rescue park near here last summer. They are beautiful big cats. I do agree that nature is telling us to leave them to their own species. Thank you for your kind words, votes and share! Have a wonderful day! :)

Mrs Frugal from United States on April 27, 2013:

Wow! I've never heard of a Liger before. You've got a lot of great information on here! Hope you have a wonderful day~

C E Clark from North Texas on April 27, 2013:

I have never heard of the liger before. The fact that birth defects so often result from cross breeding lions and tigers should be a tiny hint that this is not meant to be and should not be done. Well written and presented!

Voted up and interesting! Will share.

Sheila Brown (author) from Southern Oklahoma on April 22, 2013:

Hi Peg! They are beautiful animals, but I agree, I don't think we should be messing with "mother nature". Thank you for stopping by and commenting! Have a wonderful day! :)

Peg Cole from North Dallas, Texas on April 22, 2013:

These are beautiful creatures and an interesting glimpse into them. The birth defects from cross breeding is troubling and reminds me that nature is the best director of maintaining the species.

Sheila Brown (author) from Southern Oklahoma on April 21, 2013:

Hi Vespa. Thank you for your kind words! I had never heard about hybrid vigor either, but your right, it does make sense. I wouldn't doubt that, at one time, there were ligers in the wild. I guess no one really knows for sure. I can say for sure that female ligers will breed with a male lion, as I fortunately/unfortunately saw it happen at the animals rescue park. That was a little awkward at the time! LOL Thank you for your comment, votes and share! Have a wonderful day! :)

Vespa Woolf from Peru, South America on April 21, 2013:

What a fascinating Hub! I've heard of ligers but didnt' know much about them until reading your well-written article. I didn't know about hybrid vigor, but it makes sense. It's interesting that there are rumors or wild-born ligers and that female ligers can breed. Voted up, up, up and shared!

Sheila Brown (author) from Southern Oklahoma on April 21, 2013:

Hi Pat! I was fortunate enough to see a liger at an animal rescue center near here. They are really beautiful BIG cats! This was a young female and not near the size of Herculese, but she was beautiful. Yeah, I wouldn't want to have to feed one of these cats! I'm so glad you enjoyed my hub, thank you for your kind comment, votes and share! Have a wonderful day! :)

Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on April 21, 2013:

Good morning Sheila

This is so interesting. I have never heard of these. So now I know about a Liger. The cubs are adorable and then they can grow to be Hercules size. It was amazing to hear how much they can eat too.Very informative.

A great read from beginning to end.

Angels are on the way :)

voted up up and away and shared. ps

Sheila Brown (author) from Southern Oklahoma on April 20, 2013:

Hello Alicia! I'm glad you enjoyed my hub. Hercules is one big cat, isn't he! Thank you for stopping by and commenting, it is always appreciated! Have a wonderful day! :)

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on April 19, 2013:

Thanks for the interesting information and photos, Sheila. Hercules is a very impressive and beautiful animal!

Sheila Brown (author) from Southern Oklahoma on April 19, 2013:

Hello Rajan! I am not comfortable with the idea of cross breeding either. If it happens in nature, that is one thing, but I don't think we should be messing with "mother nature". Thank you so much for your kind comment, votes and sharing! I appreciate all your support! Have a wonderful day! :)

Sheila Brown (author) from Southern Oklahoma on April 19, 2013:

Hi Shanmarie! Yes, it was pretty awesome to see a liger up close. I could have reached out and touched her, but I was a little afraid to. We were fortunate enough to be given a special tour by the director of the rescue center. Our daughter and her husband were volunteering there at the time. One reason that some of them are fairly tame is that they are born and raised in captivity, they are actually never "wild". However, they still have those "wild" genes from their parents and I am sure can still be dangerous. Thanks for your interest, I wish I had some personal pictures. I am going back soon and will try to get some publish worthy pictures! Have a wonderful evening! :)

Sheila Brown (author) from Southern Oklahoma on April 19, 2013:

Hi Jackie! I'm glad you enjoyed my hub and thank you for your kind words and vote! Have a beautiful day! :)

Sheila Brown (author) from Southern Oklahoma on April 19, 2013:

Hi Peggy! I didn't realize that my poll question was a little confusing. I have gone in and changed it up. Ligers are beautiful but I really agree, we shouldn't be "messing with mother nature". I'm glad you found my hub interesting. Thank you for stopping by and commenting! Have a wonderful day! :)

Sheila Brown (author) from Southern Oklahoma on April 19, 2013:

Hi Bravewarrier! I was fortunate enough to see a liger at an animals rescue park near here, she was beautiful! So far, only female ligers are able to breed, from everything I could find, the males are sterile. I don't much like the thought of cross breeding either. There are separate species for a reason. If it happens in nature, that's one thing, but to do this intentionally, that's just messing with "Mother Nature". Thank you for stopping in, I always enjoy hearing from you! Have a wonderful day! :)

Sheila Brown (author) from Southern Oklahoma on April 19, 2013:

Hi Mary! I don't think we should be messing around with "Mother Nature" either. These are beautiful and extrodinary cats, but it just isn't natural for a reason. I really don't like seeing any animal kept in captivity, sometimes of course, it is necessary, such as animal rescue parks.

I didn't realize my poll question was a little confusing, thank you for letting me know, I have gone in and changed it. :)

Thank you for your kind comment and votes, they are always appreciated! Have a wonderful day! :)

Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on April 19, 2013:

Sheila, this is the first time I'm learning about the existence of ligers. It is a beautiful animal, though I feel this sort of unnatural cross breeding should not be done. This is not to detract the fantastic job of putting this information and pictures that you have done.

Voted up, beautiful, interesting and shared.

Sheila Brown (author) from Southern Oklahoma on April 19, 2013:

Hi Carol! I was fortunate enough to see a liger up close at an animal rescue center near here. She was a was a young adult female and not near as large as Hercules. I took some pictures of her, but as she was too close to the fence, the pictures were not publish worthy. She was beautiful! Thank you for stopping by and commenting! Have a wonderful day! :)

Sheila Brown (author) from Southern Oklahoma on April 19, 2013:

Hi Joe! I wish I had the money to have my own animal rescue center! I love animals and would love to be a person that could rescue and take good care of them. Yeah, I don't think "Big Foot" would be coming around but once! LOL Thank you so much for your very kind comments, they are always greatly appreciated! Aloha Joe and have a wonderful day, my friend! :)

Shannon Henry from Texas on April 19, 2013:

Wow. You've seen one in person? That's pretty awesome. I've heard they are fairly tame, but one really does wonder about things like that when cross breeding is involved.

Jackie Lynnley from the beautiful south on April 19, 2013:

Such a great write, so interesting and love the photos! Voting up!

Sheila Brown (author) from Southern Oklahoma on April 19, 2013:

Hello Shanmarie! One of my hubs recently went "viral". It was on a rare golden zebra, named Zoe. I wanted to do something similar and I had seen a liger at a wildlife rescue park last summer, so this came to mind. Thank you for your kind comment and I appreciate your stopping by, it is always appreciated! :)

Sheila Brown (author) from Southern Oklahoma on April 19, 2013:

Hello Faith Reaper! That is one BIG cat! They are very beautiful too. How would you like to run into one of those in the wild! Wow! I'm glad you found my hub interesting and thank you for the votes and share! Have a wonderful day! :)

Sheila Brown (author) from Southern Oklahoma on April 19, 2013:

Hi Natashalh! I read about the grizzly/polar bear hybrid. We have to be careful about using the word "never"! It can come back to bite us. Thank you for stopping by and commenting, it is always appreciated! Have a wonderful day! :)

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on April 19, 2013:

I was not quite sure how to vote in the poll. I voted "yes" meaning that it is wrong to intentionally cross breed these two different species where many of the cubs are born with birth defects and most are sterile. I must say that judging from the photos, they are certainly beautiful. Thanks for writing this about Ligers. I found it to be interesting.

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on April 19, 2013:

Shiela, I've never heard of ligers until this hub. I don't think the cross breeding should continue, but since Hercules is a male, is he able to breed with a female liger? This would eliminate the need for cross-breeding.

Mary Craig from New York on April 19, 2013:

I'd never heard of these amazing cats. However, your closing paragraph puts it all into perspective. We shouldn't be messing with mother nature and surely not breeding such big cats who can never live in the wild. (I didn't vote in your survey because I got confused between right or wrong answering yes or no.)

This was a great hub with great pictures.

Voted up, useful, interesting.

Sheila Brown (author) from Southern Oklahoma on April 19, 2013:

Hi Larry! Thank you for your kind words. I'm sure some ligers are well taken care of, but there will always be some people that breed them for selfish reasons and these animals will probably suffer. There are already many ligers in animal rescue parks because they were not being properly taken care of. I think it should at least be regulated. Thank you for your comment and votes! :)

Sheila Brown (author) from Southern Oklahoma on April 19, 2013:

Hi Bill! I had seen a liger at an animal rescue park a couple of years ago. She was a young female and not near the size of Hercules. I was lucky/unlucky enough to see her actually mating with a male lion, that was a little awkward at the time! But, that was something that not just everyone is going to see. I agree with you, I'm not real crazy about people screwing around with nature. There are seperage species for a reason. Like the saying goes..."Don't mess with Mother Nature!" Thank you for stopping in and commenting, I always enjoy hearing from you, my friend! :)

Sheila Brown (author) from Southern Oklahoma on April 19, 2013:

Hi Bill! I had seen a liger in an animal rescue park near here, but she was still fairly young and not near the size of Hercules. He is amazing, isn't he! How would you like to run into that in the wild somewhere, OMG! Well, of course that won't happen. I agree with you, if it happened in nature, that would be one thing, but to intentionally breed an animal of that size that will have to live in captivity all it's life, I just feel right about it. Thank you for stopping by and I appreciate ALL your support! Have a wonderful day! :)

carol stanley from Arizona on April 19, 2013:

I have never heard of a ligor...they surely eat a lot. They would certainly be a costly pet HAHA. Very interesting and fun to read about this huge animal..I like the 2" teeth...Wouldn't want to be in the same room.

Hawaiian Odysseus from Southeast Washington state on April 18, 2013:

Hi, Sheila!

This was an awesome hub! Those cats are HUGE! So, with 40 acres in OK, are you and hubby thinking about raising ligers? : ) Might be one way to get Bigfoot to be a little bit more sociable. All kidding aside, I think you did a great job with this article, and the pictures and video were excellent complements to your wonderful writing! Thanks for sharing, Sheila! Aloha from SE Washington!

Joe

Shannon Henry from Texas on April 18, 2013:

How funny! I was just thinking about doing a similar hub the other day. LOL Guess I shall not. ;) Magnificent pictures you found.

Faith Reaper from southern USA on April 18, 2013:

Wow, how very interesting. Never heard of the Liger. My goodness, that is one very huge cat!!! Very beautiful, but YIKES too!

Voted up +++ and sharing

God bless, Faith Reaper

Natasha from Hawaii on April 18, 2013:

Eek! Remind me to never visit the part of the world where these might be in the wild! A while ago there was a terrifying grizzly/polar bear mix in Canada, even though 'they never overlap.'

Larry Fields from Northern California on April 18, 2013:

Hi Sheila,

I already knew that ligers existed, but didn't didn't have any of the specific details. Thanks for the informative hub. Awesome pictures too.

About the ethics. It's OK for a donkey to mate with a mare, in order to produce a mule. So why not ligers? To me, the main question is this: Does the liger receive good care for the rest of its life?

Voted up and interesting.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on April 18, 2013:

Where have I been. I was unaware these animals even existed. Wow...incredibly beautiful but I'm not sure how I feel about the cross-breeding. I usually have a problem with man screwing around with nature.

Bill De Giulio from Massachusetts on April 18, 2013:

Sheila, this is amazing. I was aware of the term Liger, but have never seen a picture of Hercules. He is unbelievable. That is the largest cat that I have ever seen. It's one thing for the lion and tiger to cross-breed in the wild but I'm not sure they should be doing it in captivity, especially when the motive is money.

Really enjoyed this hub. Voted up, shared, pinned. etc.

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