Liger – the largest cat in the world
Liger – the biggest cat in the world
The liger is a hybrid cross between a male lion (Panthera leo) and a tigress (Panthera tigris).
The tiglon is a hybrid cross between a male tiger (Panthera tigris) and a lioness (Panthera leo).
Ligers enjoy swimming, which is a characteristic of tigers, and are very sociable like lions. Ligers exist only in captivity because the habitats of the parental species do not overlap in the wild. Ligers typically grow larger than their parents, unlike tiglons which tend to be about as large as a female tiger.
The liger is the largest known cat in the world. It is wrongly believed that ligers continue to grow throughout their lives due to hormonal issues. It may be that they simply grow far more during their growing years and take longer to reach their full adult size. Further growth in shoulder height and body length is not seen in ligers over 6 years old, same as both lions and tigers.
Female ligers may also attain great size, weighing approximately 320 kg (705 lb) and reaching 3.1 m (10 ft) long on average, and are often fertile. In contrast, pumapards (hybrids between pumas and leopards) tend to exhibit dwarfism.
Other big cat hybrids can reach similar sizes; the litigon, a rare hybrid of a male lion and a female tiglon, is roughly the same size as the liger, with a male named Cubanacan (at the Alipore Zoo in India) reaching 363 kg (800 lb). The extreme rarity of these second-generation hybrids may make it difficult to ascertain whether they are larger or smaller, on average, than the liger.
There are confirming reports about weights of ligers to be around 900 pounds to 1000 pounds. But after 1000 pounds, in the online records, there haven’t been many records. One report suggests a liger of 1200 pounds, while another report suggests that in Wisconsin, there was a liger, which weighed more than 1600 pounds.
Presently in Jungle Island, an interactive animal theme park in Miami, lives liger named Hercules, the largest non-obese liger, who is recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest living cat on Earth, weighing over 410 kg (904 lb).