Friday, June 22, 2007

Liger

LigerA cat of enormous size and strength, Liger is quite an extraordinary animal. It is an amazing creature that has rarely occurred through history and is a true marvel in appearance. So great is the muscularity and power of Liger that if it ever existed in the wild, it would have been capable of taking down nearly every animal on earth!

The largest species of cat to have ever existed - Liger - is not even a species at all ~ it is a hybrid ~ a cross between a male lion and a female tiger that is given a scientific denotation of Panthera leo × Panthera tigris. The name is derivative of its heritage: 'Li' from lion and 'ger' from tiger. The appearance is indicative of the huge cat's origin ~ a tawny coat is marked by diffuse stripes and rosettes with a rudimentary mane. The attributes are also inherited from both parents ~ Ligers like to swim like tigers and are sociable like lions. The roar is more like that of a lion and so is the frequent laid back nature of the cat, in contrast to the ferocious and active lifestyle of the male tiger.

Hybrids have always existed in the wild and in captivity and numerous attempts at interspecies breeding of big cats have been made throughout history. The hallmarks of Liger are its massive physical proportions. With a weight over a thousand pounds and length greater than twelve feet, the Liger dwarfs the biggest lion and tiger in existence. The reason behind this is believed to be genetic - the male tiger and female lion both have a growth inhibiting gene that restricts the growth of their respective offspring to an extent. The concept behind Liger bypasses this condition by mating a male lion and a female tiger ~ the resulting cub can grow lifelong to become twice as big as either of its parents.

Withstanding all its magnificence - when I look at a Liger I feel awe and I feel...sorry! Yes it is true (bear me out for a while) ~ I feel sorry because I see a creature that is not meant to be in nature. I see an animal that has never existed in the wild and has never been created by conscientious breeders. An organism that is not a species in itself since it is unable to produce fertile offsprings (male Ligers are sterile!). An animal that lives most of its life in solitude, created for attracting audience or for Hollywood. A creature marred in its small population by low lifespan, genetic aberrations and neurological defects (head shakes in cubs!).

LigerExperts worldwide condemn the breeding of Ligers as an unhealthy practice. All responsible animal captivity programs and zoos around the globe never try to mate lions with tigers. Big Cat Rescue calls it a 'despicable' act and hints the practice to be a purely commercial ploy. National Geographic News takes a skeptical look at it. At accredited zoos "keeping the two species separate has always been standard procedure," according to Jane Ballentine, a spokesperson for the American Zoo and Aquarium Association. Plus, interspecies breeding tends to result in "diminished fitness of the offspring," according to Ronald Tilson, director of conservation at the Minnesota Zoo in Apple Valley.

To me the Liger depicts the opposite sides of human nature - the side that craves beauty and ignores everything else and the side that honors the laws of morality and nature. The side that searches for lion tiger fight videos on YouTube and the side that condemns them as barbaric practices after having seen them ~ yes to me the Liger is indicative of the fickle nature of our own species. It is for us to decide which side do we want to take...!

59 comments:

Marilyn MonREOW said...

Wow, ligers are amazingly humongous cats! And I agree with you, I feel both awe and sorrow when I see them, too.

Purrs and snuggles from Marilyn.

Chairman Mao said...

Whatta HUGE kitty!!! Man, a thousand pounds????? That'd be a hundred MaoMaos, and that's a lotta MaoMaos!

zevo calamari said...

Wow...stunning yet sad. Thanks so much for the pictures and the info. We have never seen a Liger before.

zevo

Caesar and Princess said...

Firstly, we read the post below and made a nice comment on your lovely masters. You are very fortunate to have such inspiring and knowledgeable cats.

We really enjoyed this very enthusiastic study of Ligers. They are amazing. They are huge and we do not want to meet them. They would eat us for a snack.

<3

Oscar the Puppy Cat said...

How very, very sad. They are so incredibly beautiful but how horrible we humans can be! It makes me mad when people play God. Especially those who are only concerned with the almighty dollar. Your piece on the Liger is one of my favorites. I learned a lot that I wasn't aware of. I always knew they were amazingly beautiful but I had no idea at what price that beauty came. Remind me to tell you about the Cougars that I saw during an idoor fair once. It was the turning point of how I viewed the big cats.
Kim

Thank you for this story,
Oscar

Benjamin Fuzz said...

wow...uncle omer, that's one giant kitty! while he's handsome, it seems wrong. just because we can doesn't mean we should!

ben

Karen Jo said...

I had heard of a Liger before, but had no idea that anyone was breeding them on purpose. What I read was that in a big zoo either the lion or the tiger enclosure had to be worked on, so the lions and tigers shared a large enclosure for a short time and a Liger was born some time later. The zoo keepers were amazed because they didn't think that such a thing was possible. I agree with you that doing such a thing on purpose is despicable.

Diamond said...

Thank you for posting this information. We have heard of ligers and tigrons, but didn't know there were so many health problems. There is enough trouble preserving tigers and lions without resorting to freak breeding of animals that will always have to remain in captivity.

HRH Yao-Lin said...

You know, you just summed up my EXACT feelings the first time i read about the Liger. There was a great article not long ago in one of our local papers about this hybrid, and about the other types - Tigons and things? I don't recall exactly but I remember there are different variations. It makes me sad as well and i feel sorry like you. Excellent post!
x

R2K said...

: )

Daisy said...

I agree with your feelings about the Ligers. They are very beautiful, but I feel sad, too.

Ali & Fiona said...

Momma agrees with you. The two ligers she saw were female and they really weren't that big. Though she knows they were ligers because she has seen both parents and knows the owner of the big cat rescue.

The Cat Realm said...

You always have the most interesting stories. And so educational!
We do not like what humans do. Mostly. Our servants are o.k. And a lot of the beans that we hear from from our fellow bloggers. And you. But a lot of humans think they are better or different than animals. What arrogance!

Phoebe said...

I think you are right about the Liger being sad. It is sad that he has to be alone and he is too big to be safe for playing.

Eric and Flynn said...

Yes they are magnificent looking animals, but it is criminal that they are deliberately bred at such a price to their wellbeing.

Kaze, Latte, or Chase said...

I do agree with you, I don't think its fair to breed creatures that aren't natural. I didn't even know the Liger actually existed.

Latte

Gretchen said...

I didn't know there such a thing. Wow, they are big. But I see they do the exact same things we smaller types do. That's comforting.

DaisyMae Maus said...

That is a ginormous kitty. I feel sad for it, too ... Genetic hybrids exist because of hubris, not necessity.
DMM

Lux said...

I can't even imagine 1,000 pounds! It's a beautiful cat, but the way you explain it makes me sad.

Zoey and the furballs (the Zoo Crew) said...

I have to agree with you too. It's sad that we can't just appreciate the beauty of what nature has and work to protect those species instead of honoring commercialism by trying to create one that was not meant to be.

小芥 michico said...

Huge kitty~!
And his paws's pose is so great~!

Miss Peach>(^,^) said...

Thank you Omer for the lesson about Ligers. Such a beautiful cat should be left to our dreams. Man does create for his selfish pleasure that which God did not!
Purrrrs to you...

Paradoxian Giant said...

I saw one of these in some kind of camp in Florida - a couple years ago. This one didn't have the mane like a lion, and he was about 9 feet tall when he stood up. We were told not to make eye contact, that he would take that as a sign of aggression. Anyway, while I feel horrible for these animals being bred for human circuses and such, I feel bad for any and all animals who are stuck in cages - that is every bit as unnatural as crossbreeding for human greed. Next time you go to a zoo, try paying attention to the animals' demeanor - they are so sad - just imagine how you would feel if that were you in that cage. Sad, disgusting, despicable, and when I see the things that humans do, I am ashamed to be part of that horrible race - really.
Thanks for the articles, I love big cats, maybe I'll meet one someday :) .
ParadoxianGiant

Craig said...

What a bunch of pathetic moralizing crybabies!! The ligers are well cared for and seem as content as any captively bred large cat. You think if it was possible to put the question to the individual liger..."Would you like to continue living as you are, or would you prefer to be 'terminated' because you happen to be a cross breed?...you think the liger would say, yes kill me please?

You people are pathetic...sniveling about how "sad" it is that despicable humans would do such a terrible thing as crossing two different species. There is a lot of suffering and injustice in this world to be "sad" or outraged about...but the 'fact' that ligers exist isn't one of them. What pathetic dopes some of you people are...incredible!

Paradoxian Giant said...

Craig said...

What a bunch of pathetic moralizing crybabies!!...

Wish I would have seen this numbskull's post sooner. Try this on for size, screwing with nature is WRONG, any way you look at it. These poor animals are part of a freak show that has been created by the sorriest species on the planet - HUMANS. Circuses are pathetic and disgusting, as are zoos, animal parks, cages of any kind, and so is genetic altering. I wonder how YOU, Mr. Craig, would feel if you were bred as half monkey and half human, and they had you in a cage for people to peer at you - no companions, no friends, no space to do ANYTHING except eat and sleep. I wish that for people like you - who have no compassion for other living creatures. Disgusting specimens like you cause me to be ashamed to be part of the human race.
P.S. I could only HOPE to come face to face with you someday, and see if you would dare to call me a crybaby while I'm standing right in front of you - something tells me you would scamper away like the yellow bellied piece of sub human trash that you are.

ParadoxianGiant

Anonymous said...

i agree. but are tigons smaler than ligers? or vice versa?

o_o said...

how about tigons?

snowforest said...

Tigons are created via breeding of a male tiger with a lioness. They are smaller than ligers owing to the growth recessive gene inherited through the lioness.

Sandy_Sandra said...

it is really amazing! I hope that i will get to learn more about the Ligers and Tigons!

extictionorzoosyouchoose said...

A monkey and a human???? Come on - the simple fact that it is not physically possible because of chromosomal differences should tell you something. Ligers exist because a lion and a tiger were given an opportunity to reproduce and they took it, and it worked. There were no labs or test tubes or scientists involved in the creation. No DNA was altered by man. Nature simply took its course. While we are on the subject of hybridization, why is there no public outcry about crossbreeding dog and cat breeds? I think a cock-a-poo is much more an aberration than a liger! What about mules? Those POOR pathetic MULES! Seriously, the sad fact is lions and tigers could completely cease to exist in the wild in the very near future. That is fact. Without captive breeding programs (for purebreds) the Barbary lion (talk about a beautiful animal) would be extinct. It just so happens I saw a Liger just yesterday at a zoo. Beautiful animal, just like all big cats. She appeared to be very well taken care of, and the owners of the zoo are very passionate about what they do. The big cat was not obese, and was actually very playful when given her snack of fresh whitetail dear. It was a huge draw - which means $$$$ for the zoo, which means they can continue to breed the bengal and siberian tigers, and african lions they also house, and means the barbary lion they have may get a mate to help keep that species from completely disappearing from our planet. It is a sad fact that without zoos some animals would no longer exist. But, unless you people intend to buy large portions of asia, siberia and africa, pay people to patrol these areas to keep the lions and tigers from being poached, and make sure they breed properly in the wild and they are well fed enough to produce 2 or more offspring in each litter, and make sure said offspring receive proper nutrition and are not taken by hyenas and other big cats before reaching maturity....QUIT WHINING ABOUT ZOOS and what they have to do to make money for the greater good. The way I see it, no zoos = no barbary lions and the potential loss of even more big cat breeds until the overseas conservation issues of poaching and habitat loss are solved. If you have a better plan, please share it with the class, otherwise, please realize that most zoos exist to educate and to ensure the survival of certain species dangerously close to extinction! Without actually seeing lions and tigers up close in a zoo at some point, there are many people who would have never found their passions to protect and preserve these (AND OTHER) beautiful creatures.

Cats said...

@ extictionorzoosyouchoose - there is nothing wrong with zoos - indeed many of them do great work in preserving many specimens of species critically endangered in the wild.

There is nothing wrong with ligers either - they are magnificent creatures who ought to be admired and taken good care of, no matter how they came into being.

And there is nothing wrong with a lion and tigress accidentally coming together to give birth to a liger cub.

What is WRONG is - intentionally breeding lions with tigers to produce enormous hybrids that are primarily a source of money for their owners!! And ligers are hybrids - they are not a species - for they cannot reproduce amongst themselves (male ligers are sterile!). They have never existed as a species in the wild and there is no chance of them ever doing so! So there is nothing productive gained for conservation or wildlife anywhere from their aritificial creation by man - apart from risking many of the cubs to genetic and neurological defects that come from this bizarre breeding practice. All respected animal sanctuaries/organizations take care to prevent this (Big Cat Rescue, National Geographic) - of course once you already have a liger at your hands(rescued from somewhere etc) you must take good care of the big cat..but producing them for purposes that are none other than commercial - for reasons aforementioned - are simply UNACCEPTABLE!

Kiki-Kitty said...

Hey! You seriously feel sorry! Ligers can reproduce! studies show that most female ligers are fertile. Have you ever heard of a Li-Liger? thats when a male lion mates with a female liger, their offspring is called a Li-Liger. I think I've proven my point...

A.M.NAJAR said...

liger is a beautiful animal in world. i love these kinds of iventions, liger is a gift from to hard workers of nature. I m really impressed with big cat.

Anonymous said...

My high school students first brought the liger and tigron to my attention. I was amazed. I thought it was a joke at first. Then I read their stories. I think if the story of the lion and tiger being enclosed together without any idea they would mate,is true, then nature took its course. My concern is that those that do exist be respected and well-cared for in animal preservations or zoos or any safe place. Without such protection, someone would kill them to hang the coat on his wall as a trophy. And there always is the greed that shows its ugly face. That's the baser human being who someone should be hung on a wall. The ligers pictured are obviously well-cared for and seem happy enough to me. This mating was FIRST a nature thing; man didn't think this up on purpose. BUT what about "cloning". There's no dilemma there. THAT is man playing God.

Anonymous said...

I just saw the post of "extinctionorzoosyouchoose" of August of 2008. Sorry it took me so long to catch up with you. I CHOOSE ZOOS. I agree with every single word you wrote, amigo. I hope that somehow you stumble across this and know, "Hey, another thinker knows I'm right!!!" You kept your cool, too. I think personal attacks and name-calling is really not the purpose of Blogs. People can disagree without being aggressive and ugly about it. You expressed yourself really well, with class.

Anonymous said...

I like the fact that these blog posts have to be approved by the blog owner. This is the first blog I've been on in probably 18 months because of the lack of control and things posted that weren't appropriate. I guess I'll have get a Google account so I'm more than "anonymous?" Thanks, Blog Owner

Tigerpassion said...

New to this blog. Came over from Facebook. Tigers are my favorite animal on earth. No other is so beautiful. So the Liger and Tigron caught my attention. Here I am. Late blogger. Interesting to read the posts. I skipped through the personal attacks, though. Not good. The others I liked. As a 2009 blogger here, I hope I'm not too late. Is there anyone still blogging here?

Ailurophile said...

@ Tigerpassion

Sorry for the belated response, but yes I'm still blogging. Click on the 'Home' tab to read the latest blog posts.

nyssa said...

Hi, I volunteer at a zoo in the big cat house. I have mixed feelings about crossbreading. I agree with a lot of the blogs there. I think if we have a ligon or tigron we have to care for it. I don't know if they should be actively bread It is like when people mate two very differant dogs together, meny times the off spring pay the price. Do you rememcer beefolow. a cow and a buffolow.

in Septeber our 19 year old lion died, and his mate a 18 year old lioness has been checking out our 15 year old tiger. I said they should put them together for compony not mating.

Is a liger that mush differant then a mule I don't know, but what ever we do we have to be responsable and care for the animals we create.

Look at the people who bread walvies and dog and sell them as pets. I have more of a problume with that. At least ligons are in zoos were they can be care for properly.


Sorry to be wishy whashy. but there are meny slides to the story. and many things still to think about.

Anonymous said...

theres no such thing as ligers

cinnamon said...

there's like 2 ligers left in the world. aren't there?

Anonymous said...

idont no if there are just two ligers or not. its dat u must care for a rare animal n not expose it to much lik some newly discovered artifact or something.

Anonymous said...

The Lord God created lions and tigers, not ligers. They are breathtaking but not natural and I'm glad the males are sterile.

ligerworld.com said...

Ligers are the biggest cats on earth. But the Saber Toothed Tigers and American Cave Lions were as big as ligers. Therefore, they might still not be all time big cats in the history of the cats.

Anonymous said...

LIGERS ARE AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I LOVE LIGERS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

India Summers said...

=]

Anonymous said...

Why in the world should people breed them?! Don't they have any common sense!?!?!?
-Liger pitier

Anonymous said...

I LOVE THIS ANIMAL!! Its very sad also though.

Anonymous said...

Dog cares for rejected liger cubs
news.msn.co.nz
nz-news Glance Asset page
Dog cares for rejected liger cubs compensation Dog cares for rejected liger cubs AEST 13:55, Wed May 25 2011
4 images in this story
Two rare cubs born to a male lion and a female tiger are being nursed by a dog in a Chinese zoo after they were abandoned by their mother.

Four cubs were born earlier this month in Xixiakou Wildlife Zoo in Weihai, east China's Shandong province.

Their mum, a Manchurian tiger named Hua Hua, fed the cubs for four days and then for unknown reasons abandoned them.

Chinese zoo workers brought in a dog to nurse them instead, but two died of weakness.

Ligers are the largest known cat and when fully-grown, can be much larger than either parent. Only if man would listen to nature

Anonymous said...

to that 'craig' guy: Ligers are wrong just wrong...that wouldnt happen naturally and its just another way for humans to make money.

zoos arent all bad, the zoos that do it for the greater good of the animals and conservation and stuff

humans suck :P

Anonymous said...

ITZ AMAZING

Liger said...

the biggest cats on planet earth!

Margarita said...

I have so many things in my mind at the moment, but obviously can't say much. I only recently found out about ligers and made a little research on them. I do understand the unethical part of the cross breeding, but then I see those animals that are such nice and healthy creatures. I've read about their diseases and abnormalities... As I understood, there are not so many and don't occur so often, they occur at the same rate as the actual species. Even humans get children with down syndrome and autism etc. Just because it is hybrid, doesn't mean it is wrong and should be killed on spot or something. I think we exaggerate about everything here and I'm kinda neutral to all this, trying to see both sides of the story.
How about human cross breeding? So, for example a child from a white mother and black father or asian or whatever is a hybrid and it can be considered as a huge nature's mistake?!!! why it is such a big mistake for animals and not humans then? cos we, humans, don't have a superior creature to force us? After all, it is not artificial breeding between different families, which would be monstrosity. It is just species. That happens in nature by itself, by most living organisms on that planet.
How about plants? Since plants is my field, I'd like to tell you that we're eating hybrid fruits and vegetables since ages ago. The original tomato was too small and almost inedible until it got mixed with different species.
My point is that I see people focusing on what has been served without any effort to think a bit further before making any conclusion. We humans, cross breed by ourselves, we create and eat hybrid food every day and our only concern is ligers apparently and how sad these creatures are :) Just to make it clear... I have not made any conclusion out of this. I'm neutral, until I examine, consider and weigh as much information as possible (probably never).

Thanks for your cute story though. I found it while I was trying to search about the reasons the ligers were created. Is it just for entertainment or is there any research going on about genes or if they're possibly immune to some diseases or vulnerable etc., so maybe they have the key for cure or some diseases, I don't know. So far, haven't found anything on that matter.

Anonymous said...

DOGS all the way SON!!!

Anonymous said...

JK, but really the fact that it is not a species but a hybrid is what makes the Liger unique and beautiful.

Anonymous said...

OH.....MEH......GOD their so huge!!!!the next speech topic that im going to do is the Liger its so pretty yet its so sad wut they do by cross breeding them.im a huge cat lover so they obviously appeal to me.also whoever wrote that dog comment CATS ARE WAY BETTER!!!!(just kidding :) I JUST PREFER CATS.

Anonymous said...

I agree with margarita they are beautiful animals so they shouldn't be killt just cause they are hybrids.i think they should be aloud to thrive.

Anonymous said...

what kittkitty is righting is cinda true.........

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