Ligers Are Biggest Cats in the World-Truth!
Summary of eRumor:
A cross between a lion and a tiger, a liger, is the largest and possibly most dangerous cat in the world.
Most of what you’ve heard about ligers is true — but breeding practices that result in these big cat hybrids are considered by many to be immoral and unethical.
First and foremost, tigers and lions do not naturally breed with each other in the wild. The nonprofit Big Cat Rescue says that lions and tigers don’t coexist in the same areas of the wild, so crossbreeding is not something that happens naturally.
Instead, ligers (the result of breeding a male lion to a tigress) and tigons (the result of breeding a male tiger to a lioness) occurs in captivity, most often for amusement. But often, the results aren’t pretty, Big Cat Rescue says:
These cats suffer from many birth defects and usually die young. Because ligers are usually larger than either parent, it also puts the tigress at great risk in carrying the young and may require C-section deliveries or kill her in the process. When the public quits paying to see these unfortunate creatures, the evil people responsible for breeding them will stop this inhumane practice.
Slate reported on the growing trend of breeding hybrid curiosities — zonkies, ligers, zebroids, just to name a few — and reported that ligers’ hearts and organs often can’t handle the weight of their enormous bodies, which leads to disability or death.
And, while ligers are typically much larger than both of their parents, tigons are typically smaller. When standing on their hind legs, ligers can measure up to 12 feet tall, and they can weigh up to 1,000 pounds. To compare, average male lions typically weigh about 420 pounds and measure a little more than six feet long.
So it’s true that ligers are the biggest cats in the world — but they are the result of highly questionable breeding practices.