This past weekend I had the pleasure of seeing the largest cat in the world, a male liger named Hercules. He was awesome, and GIANT! This bad boy was nearly 1,000lbs of pure tabby. If you didn’t know, a liger is not some mythical creature from Napoleon Dynomite. A liger is the hybrid result of a male lion and female tiger breeding.
A Tigon is a smaller cat, that is the result of a male tiger and a female lion breeding. There are only a dozen or so of these amazing tiger/lion hybrids in existence. This particular guy is from The Institute of Greatly Endangered and Rare Species in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
So all this Liger talk got me to thinking about other animal hybrids, and where one would be able to see such creatures. So here are my top 5 animal hybrids:
The most commonly known hybrid, the result of a male donkey and female horse. Unlike the liger, almost all male and female donkeys are infertile. These guys come in great variations from size and color, to the sound they make.
Not surprisingly, many have ventured to cross man’s best friend with his wild ancestor resulting in an “exotic” hybrid. Most commonly bred with huskies and shepherds for a desirable result. Their behavior is unpredictable, but there are as many as 300,000 in the US.
3) Zorse / Zonkey
My favorite of the hybrids is the Zebroid a cross between a zebra and any other equine: horse, pony, donkey, etc. These hybrids are cool because they typically share more characteristics of their non-zebra parent, but almost always have a striped pattern.
The wolphin is a hybrid between a bottle nose dolphin and a false killer whale. These hybrids characteristics are split pretty evenly between both parents, including size, color and shape. You can see a wolphin in captivity at Sea Life Park in Hawaii, USA.
5) Grolar Bear
This is the cross between a polar bear and a grizley bear. You may have heard of these guys when a story broke in 2006 when a hunter mistekenly hunted one of these bad boys down in the wild. In 2010 another hunter discovered the first ever second-generation hybrid in the wild. There have been successful breedings in captivity as well.