(And why they are WRONG!)
Myth #1: Ligers suffer from a variety of health problems due to genetic abnormalities.
WRONG! Ligers have Hybrid Vigor. They are bigger, stronger and tend to be healthier than both parents.
Myth #2: Ligers have incomplete DNA.
WRONG! Lions and tigers have 19N chromosomes. That means that there are 19 pairs - one from the father and one from the mother. 19 x 2 = 38, for a total of 38 chromosomes.(source: 5tigers.org).
Myth #3: Ligers have short life spans.
TOTALLY WRONG! Ligers live into their late teens and early twenties. Just like lions and tigers in captivity. If anything ligers tend to live a few years longer.
Myth #4: Ligers are so large at birth the mother tiger must deliver by C-section.
NONSENSE! Liger cubs are the same size as tigers at birth. They weigh from half a pound to a pound. They fit in the palm of your hand. The mother tiger weighs 350 pounds. Liger cubs are less than .01% of the mother’s weight. Human babies are 5 % of the mother’s weight.
Myth #5: Ligers are not genetically strong.
INCORRECT! Because of Hybrid Vigor, ligers are strong. They tend to be free from disease and have the very best traits of lions and tigers!
Myth #6: The dietary needs of Ligers are so unique that they usually don't receive adequate food or nutrition.
FALSE! Ligers need only quality meats with commercially prepared big cat vitamins. They are expensive to care for because they have huge appetites, which are another example of Hybrid Vigor.
Myth #7: It is unethical and unnecessary to crossbreed different species. Unethical breeders allow hybridization to occur because they are strictly profit driven.
FALSE! Ligers are animal ambassadors. Our ligers have helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for grassroots conservation of tigers and other endangered species by appearing in educational fundraising presentations.
Myth #8: There is no evidence that hybrids exist in the wild. Different species – for example - lions and tigers, whales and dolphins, donkeys and zebras, - are unable to, and do not, mate with other species, in the wild.
Genetic hybridizations have been occurring for literally thousands of years, since the dawn of agriculture, in both plants and animals.
On April 16, 2006, a hunter in Canada's Northwest Territories shot a polar bear whose fur had an orange tint. Research showed that this animal had a grizzly bear father, making it the first confirmed wild pizzly ever found. (Pizzlies had been bred before in captivity.)
In 2003, DNA analysis done by the U.S. Forest Service confirmed that five odd-looking felines found in Maine and Minnesota were bobcat-lynx hybrids, dubbed blynxes.
Other DNA-confirmed hybrid mammals reported since 1999 include the forest/savanna elephant in sub-Saharan Africa, minks-polecats in France, and a sheep-goat in Botswana.
Myth #9: The breeding of ligers is unnatural and irresponsible. The AZA forbids mixing of species and hybridization.
Many AZA zoos have had ligers and tigons. The Caribbean Gardens in Naples, Florida, the Hogale, Utah zoo and the Zoo of the Dakotas are three flagship AZA members that have exhibited ligers.
There are also many of the "USA BIG CAT SANCTUARYS" including Shambala that have bred ligers and many sanctuarys exhibit them as an added incintive for atractiing more visitors.
Orangutans, gibbons and Simangs are also in same exhibits in the San Diego zoo as well as many other zoos around the world.
The AZA is not the ultimate zoo authority. It is an old, private group of mainly municipal zoos that have very outmoded ideas about how animals in cages are to be kept.
Lions, leopard, jaguars, and tiger are often kept in the same enclosures by animal trainers so they can have the largest possible space. This also gives them an enriching social life. Most of the time they will not breed. They may get along well but not reproduce unless the animals themselves decide they like each other.
All big cats are stimulation ovulators. That means artificial insemination is impossible. Lions and tigers must be in love to reproduce, and it is only achieved by natural means.
Myth #10: Ligers serve no purpose, neither scientific or nor conservational.
FALSE! Ligers catch people’s interest with their enormous size and beauty. They are the calling card for the endangered species of the world. Ligers, as animal ambassadors have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to support international grass roots conservation of endangered species.