Real Ligers and Tigons

By | June 13, 2005

“The 10ft Liger who’s still growing… He looks like something from a prehistoric age or a fantastic
creation from Hollywood. But Hercules is very much living flesh and blood – as he proves every time he opens his gigantic mouth to roar. Part lion, part tiger, he is not just a big cat but a huge one,standing 10ft tall on his back legs. Called a liger, in reference to his crossbreed parentage, he is the largest of all the cat species. On a typical day he will devour 20lb of meat, usually beef or chicken, and is capable of eating 100lb at a single setting. At just three years old, Hercules already weighs half a ton.”


He is the accidental result of two enormous big cats living close together at the Institute of Greatly Endangered and Rare Species, in Miami, Florida, and already dwarfs both his parents. “Ligers are not something we planned on having,” said institute owner Dr Bhagavan Antle. “We have lions and tigers living together in large enclosures and at first we had no idea how well one of the lion boys was getting along with a tiger girl, then lo and behold we had a liger.”


50mph runner… Not only that, but he likes to swim, a feat unheard of among water-fearing lions. In the wild it is virtually impossible for lions and tigers to mate. Not only are they enemies likely to kill one another, but most lions are in Africa and most tigers in Asia. But incredible though he is, Hercules is not unique. Ligers have been bred in captivity, deliberately and accidentally, since shortly before World War II.


Today there are believed to be a handful of ligers around the world and a similar number of tigons, the product of a tiger father and lion mother. Tigons are smaller than ligers and take on more physical
characteristics of the tiger.



Cute pictures, but don’t try this at home. Wild animals can and do turn on their trainers even after years of being friendly. (See Roy Horn. )

12 thoughts on “Real Ligers and Tigons

  1. roxy

    awww i luv big cats i know there wild and how agressive they can get but there faces look so cute and thers a whole lot of it to! i hate hunters and anything to do with it i hate the idea of wearing their fur or anything i think even if a big animal kills a person they should not be put down im very against that because its a different story if its a different animal they kill but i dont just love the animals because their cute i love them because they can love humans even after we hunt them their so beautiful! 😀

  2. Augustus Frank

    So, how insane do you really have to be to put yourself next to that. You can tell by the look on his face that one day, yes, just one day, he’s planning on taking a chunk outta ya! Like Dane Cook said, and i quote “Are you out of your fckin mind?”

  3. jose

    Wowww.. U guys r crazy.. But seriously that liger looks fcken awesome.. I would really love to own one.. So I could take care of it and play with it… woww they looks so kool..

  4. courtney

    wow you are so lucky to be able to be that close to a liger. He is amazing, and wow he is big. I wish that i could see him, and work with him in training, but i’m to young to do anything at all right now. But everything aside wooow i love him, he is amazing, i LOVE HIM…..

  5. Diane

    AAAAWWWWWW! Heeeeere Kittykittykittykitty! Absolutely Beautiful. My Gosh, you are so lucky to be able to be so up-close and personal with such a majestic animal. Just Gorgeous. I have to admit though, I’d hate to change his litterbox! More pics Please!

  6. Aloysius

    that big cat is the most awesome one in the whole u sure r lucky to have a close up with the ultimate kat in the world

    1. Leaf

      Awww he’s so cute n fluffy! I just wanna love him, n hug him, n squeeze him…..

  7. tyra

    ligers r sssssssssssssoooooooooo cute
    tigers used 2 be my favorite animal but
    now ligers r=0

  8. rockcooly

    that is so cool and im in and my website is


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