EVER thought OF an offspring of a lion and tigress or a tiger and a lioness? No? A liger and tigon! A liger is an offspring of a male lion and female tiger and the offspring of a tiger and lioness is tigon. Ligers are larger than both their parents while tigons are smaller than both. Though these feline hybrids aren’t found in nature as these big cat species are not interested in each other. But these big cats crossbreed in captivity and thus they become an attraction in zoos and wildlife parks.
Mixbred Products of The Big Cats : Liger and Tigon
It might seem fun to see such an uncommonly crossbred animal but according to the experts, this type of hybridization has a dark side. There are greater chances of the genetics of these animals being messed up with higher likelihood of many defects, including infertility. But because the animals don’t exist in the wild, the scientists haven’t studied much about the problems these liger and tigon hybrid animals can have.
As they say, exceptions are always there. Not all the hybrids face these genetic imperfections. Many of them live healthy lives and some have even produced offspring. A female liger with a male lion produced a so called liliger in 2012 in a zoo of Russia.
Though the number of these big cat hybrids existing is not known, but Usman Masood, who runs a website called ligerzoos.com, has collected an online reports of ligers and claims that there are about a hundred existing big cat hybrids.