The Liger: A Lion, Tiger, and the World’s

Photo: Aleksey Shilin / Wikimedia Commons Meet the biggest cat in the world: liger

While ligers are certainly something to admire, you’ll never find them outside a zoo – they’re a man-made hybrid between a male lion and a tigress, something that would never occur in nature

Ligers look like a striped lion

They tend to inherit buff-brown fur from their lion fathers and dark stripes from their tigress mothers

As a result of this relationship between the tiger, the largest and heaviest cat, and the lion, the second largest, ligers tend to be much larger and heavier than their parents

In fact, the largest cat in the world according to the Guinness Book of Records is a liger named Hercules who 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 measuring 4 feet (125 meters) high at the shoulder, it is considered the largest living cat in the world

Photo by Ali West

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

They also suffer from various inconvenient 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, and the lack of protective value and danger to the mother tigress during childbirth, ligers are banned from most zoos and animal sanctuaries; and those who choose to breed these animals are welcomed by big cat conservation activists around the world

Watch the video below to see the liger in action: the liger is just one of many surprising hybrid species

Click here to learn more about 20 amazing hybrid animals


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