Baby Liger, A Lion-Tiger Hybrid, Unveiled at South Carolina Wildlife Reserve

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baby liger picture
Liger cub with his 900-pound brother and trainer. Splash News

The Myrtle Beach Safari wildlife reserve in South Carolina recently announced the birth of a baby liger, the cross between a male lion and a tigress. The adorable 4-week-old Aries is pictured here peeking out from behind his 8-year-old big brother, Hercules. Aries may look small now, but he is expected to gain almost one pound a day, which will most likely put him at 365 pounds by his first birthday, Dr. Bhagavan Antle, director of The Institute of Greatly Endangered and Rare Species (T.I.G.E.R.S.), told the (U.K.) Daily Mail.

Aries's older brother weighs in at a whopping 900 pounds, and stands almost 6 feet tall. Talk about a big kitty!

The coupling of a lion and a tiger is uncommon, especially in the wild. Lions are found mostly in Africa, while tigers live in Asia, and both species are extremely territorial. However, Aries and Hercules are a byproduct of T.I.G.E.R.S., which was established to provide funding to international wildlife conservation programs, along with education and field research, according to its website.

While ligers are bigger than both lions and tigers, they also have lighter stripes than tigers and a characteristic heart-shaped head without much of a mane like a lion would have. Hercules's head -- and soon Aries, who they expect to be as large if not larger than his older brother -- is 2 feet and 3 inches across, and his 2-inch claws are the same size as a velociraptor dinosaur, according to the Daily Mail.

Ligers are distinct from tigons, the hybrid of a tiger father and lioness mother. There are even litigons, the hybrid of a male lion and a female tigon.


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the 1st picture with the woman in the background shows a morbidly obese cat. no vet alive would suggest that's a healthy specimen. there is also no reason on earth to create this "breed". it serves no good for the animals it creates and to breed them to be shot is ridiculous. mankind is dumbing himself down by the day.

March 16 2014 at 4:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Leave the animals alone...people are so stupid....even the "intelligent" ones...spend your brain power on something important like how to put Sea World or Discovery Cove out of business. These money making ventures are for REALLY uninformed people....just lining the pocket of some fat cat at the expense of wonderful creatures....made to do stupid tricks for stupid people.

March 16 2014 at 2:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

People are so stupid...even the "intelligent" ones.....leave them isn't natural. Spend your brain power on something important. Close Sea World and Discovery Cove while you're at it....They are for the REALLY uninformed people.

March 16 2014 at 2:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

My goodness that is one big cat, and so beautiful. That lady is standing right next to it, so I'm guessing he is raised to be genital. A cat that size would have to be so the vets could keep an eye one it's health. If a person had that guy for a pet, no one would rob them for sure. But why did they cross breed them if they can't be put into the wild??

March 16 2014 at 12:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Does cross breeding hurt the animal in any way - like genetically weaken it?

February 22 2014 at 7:37 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to susanlriddle's comment

To my understanding, the social behavior of the lion and the isolated nature of the tiger clashes and causes a lot of confusion and, arguable, depression in the animal.

Ligers also have wight problems, heart problems, neurological disorders, and shorter life spans than either of their parents.

There are also reports of people breeding ligers for canned hunting, as they are not protected under any conservation laws.

February 28 2014 at 9:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to missininakshin's comment

Oh I hope that isn't true, if so that is just awful and treating that poor animal as thought it's a piece of garbage not worth anything. I just cry for animals at how mean humans are to them, they are God's gift to us, for us to take care of, not treat them like a disposable item.

March 16 2014 at 12:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down

WOW, that's one Big kitty cat.

February 10 2014 at 9:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
fred mosrie


January 17 2014 at 6:16 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
fred mosrie


January 17 2014 at 6:16 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Makes one wonder about human animal hybrid experiments that are worked on in secret military bases. Labs.

December 30 2013 at 8:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Men have been cross breeding animals for thousands of years and it happens naturally in the wild, so what is the problem.

November 27 2013 at 6:52 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to ARthrfrd2's comment

In this case, the problem is that these particular animals would never make contact in the wild due to the differences in their habitats. It would NEVER happen naturally. Furthermore, the ligers suffer from several defects and health problems due to the cross-breeding, and many people breed them only for canned hunting. In short, the breeding of ligers is cruel.

February 28 2014 at 9:56 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
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