Ligers & Tigons

Day in the Life


liger cub
Photo courtesy of ligerliger.com

Ligers and tigons do not occur naturally in the wild. This is because lions and tigers are not in the same geographical location and because mating would result in a diminished fitness of their offspring. They must be made to mate by humans by being put in the same cage. If the two like each other, they could mate. Because they are unnaturally bred, they have a chance of developing neurological disorders as a genetic defect, but this is rare. The offspring are typically quite strong and do not need to deal with the dangers of the wild.


Diet and Hunting Patterns


On average they eat 20lbs of meat per day, which is typically beef or chicken, but they can eat up to 100lbs in a single sitting. If they occurred in the wild, their prey would likely be deer, cattle, and wild boar, like their parent species, and their predators would be humans. The liger has enormous teeth and an incredibly strong jaw, perfect for tearing through flesh. Their muscular bodies and sharp claws would also help them catch prey if in the wild.


liger cub
Photos courtesy of ligerliger.com

Communication and Behavior


Ligers like to swim and play in the water. Playing in the water is a trait that they inherited from their tiger mother. They are also very social, which is a trait from their lion father. Ligers have the ability to roar like lions and chuff like tigers. Chuffing is friendly and sounds like a “brr” sound.


Mating and Family Life


Ligers have low fertility rates. A male is completely infertile while only some females have produced an offspring with either a true lion or a tiger. Opponents of liger breeding believe that when ligers are born, they usually endanger the life of their tiger mothers because they are so large. Many breeders contest this, saying the cub is the same size that a normal tiger cub would be at birth. The litter will be between 2-4 liger cubs after a gestation period of about 100 days. Tigon births are rarer and not bred as often.


To see its full size and its behavior, check out National Geographic’s video.