Ligers are the hybrid species produced upon crossing Tigress and male Lions. These species are known to be the largest of all the cats. They are much larger in size than both the parents. On an average, a male Liger weighs about 400kgs and grows upto 3-3.5 metres of length. It is almost the size when both the tigress and Lion combined together.
Fact 1: This kind of hybrids is not common in Wild. In fact it’s believed that they do not exist in the wild since Tigers and Lions do not share a common habitat. This is a species bred out of human curiosity and to attract funds from visitors to arrive to watch these giant cats.
Fact 2: Most of the animal lovers are against the breeding of Ligers since it is against the nature. They believe it causes many complications for the Tigress bearing them and also the ligers have lot of genetic and physical complications in them due to this unnatural hybridisation.
Fact 3: It is often believed that Ligers grow till their death. But this is not true. They grow and reach their full size when they are about 6 years old just like their parents. The misconception about their growth might be due to their premature deaths. Due to their genetic issues, they are prone to various diseases easily and mostly die before they attain maturity. Hence, lack of knowledge among the breeders led them to believe that Ligers grow till they live.
Fact 4: Even though the male Ligers have same amount of testosterone as a Lions, they are mostly sterile. Though there are few incidence recorded on female liger cubs born with functional reproductive system, number of male liger cubs with completely functional reproductive system are not found.
Fact 5: The liger ‘Hercules’ is officially the largest liger in the world and is the current Guinness book record holder. He weighs 922 lbs and is 131 inches long.
Fact 6: Mane in male ligers is not as big as the Lions. But they do have a shaggy mane. They almost look like a lion except for the faint stripes in their fur like the tigress mother. The stripes are not as prominent as in their mother.
Fact 7: Ligers love spending time in water like their mother unlike their father. But they are social creatures like their father. Social behaviour may also be due to the reason that they are mostly bred in captivity. Most of the animals bred in captivity are social due to being closely surrounded by different species of creatures.
Fact 8: Like any hybrid species, ligers have a huge appetite. They can eat up to 100 pounds of meat in one sitting. Because of this huge appetite, it is not an easy task to raise a Liger.
Fact 9: They can produce the sounds similar to both of their parents. They roar like a Lion and also Purr like a tiger. They are equally compatible with their Tigers and Lions friends and cousins.
Fact 10: The first and probably the only White Ligers were born at Myrtle Beach Safari in South Carolina by end of the year 2013. These rarest of the cats were born to the White lion Ivory and White Tigress Saraswati. Father of these four cubs is an African White Lion and mother is White Bengal Tigress. The owner of these cubs have named them Yeti, Odlin, Sampson and Apollo. Yeti, the biggest of all is believed to grow up to the size of his uncle Hercules who has made it into Guinness record. He might even beat his uncle in the size.