Hey kids. I learned something new today. Do you want to know what I learned?
Ligers are real! Yes, Napoleon’s favorite animal, bred for their skills in magic, can be seen at the Sierra Safari Zoo near Reno. It’s a little bit of a drive for me but if I’m ever in the neighborhood I’ll definitely stop by.
Ligers are a cross between a tiger and a lion. When the father is a lion and the mother is a tiger they create a liger. When the father is a tiger and the mother is a lion the cat is called a tigon. Seriously.
Known ligers exist due to human influence, either by deliberate human intervention, or by humans putting lions and tigers in enclosed spaces together. In natural conditions tigers and lions generally do not inhabit the same territory – the two species coexist in the wild today only in the Gir forest of India although their respective ranges used to intersect in Persia, China and perhaps also Beringia. Even where they do coexist, there have been no confirmed reports of interbreeding, though there are long-standing claims that this has happened.
Ligers grow much larger than tigers or lions. This is because female lions and male tigers transmit a growth-inhibiting gene to their descendants. Being the offspring of a male lion and female tiger, the liger does not have the growth-inhibiting gene and grows much more. They will grow constantly through their lifespan until their bodies can no longer sustain their size.