“Meet the Tiglon: Half Tiger, Half Lion, and

Image: Alexey Shilin / Wikimedia Commons Meet the world’s biggest cats: the liger

While ligers are certainly something to marvel at, you’ll never see them outside of a zoo—they’re a man-made hybrid cross between a male lion and a tiger, which never occurs in nature

Ligers look like striped lions

They inherit brown fur from their lion fathers and black stripes from their tiger mothers

As a result of this union between a large and heavy feline tiger and the second largest lion, ligers are much larger and heavier than their parents

In fact, according to the Guinness Book of World Records, the world’s largest cat is a liger named Hercules, which weighs 922 pounds and measures 11 feet long and 4 feet at the shoulder

At 922 pounds (4182 kilograms) and 11 feet (333 meters) long and 4 feet (125 meters) tall at the shoulder, he is considered the world’s largest living cat

Photo by Ali West

Like many other unnatural hybrids, ligers often die in utero or prematurely

They suffer from a variety of unpleasant genetic defects and diseases associated with both lions and tigers, such as neurological problems, cancer, arthritis and organ failure

Photo by Hkandy

For these reasons, as well as the lack of conservation value and threat to the mother tiger during birth, ligers are banned in most zoos and animal sanctuaries; And those who choose to breed animals are opposed by big cat conservationists around the world

Watch the video below to see a liger in motion: The liger is one of many surprising hybrid species

Click here to learn about 20 more amazing hybrid animals

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