Fun Liger Facts For Kids

Divya Raghav
Jan 10, 2023 By Divya Raghav
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Isobel Murphy
One of the best liger facts is that a liger is a hybrid animal bred from the crossing of a lion and a tiger.

A liger is the unique hybrid of a male lion and a tigress and it is a really big cat. It also has a cousin, the tigon, which is the offspring of a male tiger and a lioness.

Ligers are the biggest cats in the family, even bigger than their parents and they can run up to 50 mph (80 kmph). They're a result of cross-breeding which does not occur in the wild and due to this reason, ligers are not found in the wild.

They are reproduced in captivity in zoos and wild sanctuaries. Ligers have faint stripes like tigers but they are a bit lighter in color and they often have black or brown rosettes, similar to their lion parents.

Ligers are bred and raised in captivity in countries including China, South Africa, and Germany. This species can suffer from gigantism as it is the largest living cat in the world.

A liger cub is bigger than either parent and because of this, specialist vets have to perform a C- section birth for ligers, which puts the life of the mother in danger. Here, we have a lot of amazing and interesting facts about the liger that you might enjoy.

Let's take a look at these liger facts and information and if you enjoy these you can also read about the Masai giraffe and eastern lowland gorilla here on Kidadl.

Liger Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a liger?

A liger is a hybrid of two species, a male lion and a female tiger. They are found in zoos or wildlife sanctuaries. A liger has features of both its parent species, which makes it an excellent predator.

What class of animal does a liger belong to?

Ligers belong to the class Mammalia like their parents.

How many ligers are there in the world?

It is estimated that around 100 ligers are in the world. 30 belong to private owners in the USA and around 20 in China. The rest are raised in captivity in Germany, South Africa, Russia, and South Korea.

Where does a liger live?

A liger is the result of cross-breeding between a male lion and a female tiger and is not seen in the wild. (lions live mostly in South Africa while tigers live in Asia). Ligers are cross-bred by zoos and are a popular attraction for visitors.

What is a liger's habitat?

The liger does not have a natural habitat as they are raised in captivity in zoos or wildlife sanctuaries.

Who do ligers live with?

Ligers are social like a lion but are generally more docile and gentle in nature. They are kept in zoos so they often live alone. From the period of being born until they can eat on their own, ligers live with their mothers who feed them and take care of them.

How long does a liger live?

Ligers live in sanctuaries and zoos. A liger cannot be seen in the wild as it's a hybrid between two species, a male lion and a female tiger.  A liger has a lifespan of around 13 to 18 years but some are known to still be living in their 20s.

How do they reproduce?

Male ligers and tigons cannot reproduce as they are the unnatural offspring of two different species. Female ligers can reproduce but only with a male lion or a male tiger. The liger and tigon also have a cousin named the litigon, which is the offspring of a male lion and a female tigon.

What is their conservation status?

There are very few ligers in existence (around 100) but they are not considered as endangered as ligers do not belong in the wild. Due to this, they do not have a conservation status.

Liger Fun Facts

What do ligers look like?

Ligers are born when male lions and female tigers cross-breed so they have some characteristics from both animals. Ligers have a faintly striped body (like a tiger) along with the tawny, golden background of a lion.

They may also inherit brown or black rosettes (like a lion has). Unlike the lion, ligers love to swim, a trait inherited from their mother (the tiger). For many, ligers are considered as an animal who won the genetic lottery as it has the best of both its parent animals' attributes!

Lions and tigers are kept in captivity in order to conserve their respective species and this overlap gives rise to a union that then results in a liger.

How cute are they?

Liger cubs are really cute but as they grow, they become more and more ferocious and majestic. They are also sociable like lions which makes them a little bit cuter as they appear to be gentle and docile with their handlers.

But, don't let this gentle nature fool you as they still have tiger-like instincts and tigers are known to be less friendly than many lions.

How do they communicate?

Ligers communicate vocally like many other mammals including their parents. A liger's roar is similar to that of a lion but it also makes a small sound known as a 'chuff' which is a unique trait of a tiger.

A liger's way of communication can be understood as a confused mixture of dialects because, like most hybrids, they have traits of both parent animals, due to which they sometimes sound like a lion and sometimes sound like a tiger.

How big is a liger?

The typical adult liger height is around 4.5 ft (1.37 m) and a liger normally weighs around 705- 1200 lb (320 - 550 kg) and is larger than either parent. The usual liger size is almost twice as big as the size of a Siberian tiger, which makes them the largest cat alive.

Despite being gigantic, ligers are relatively calm.

How fast can a liger run?

Despite being such large animals, a liger is really fast. It can run up to 50 mph (80 kmph).

It is said that it can run even faster than a lion and, having such a large body, it can make its prey unconscious when it hits them. This deadly combination of speed and power is one of the many reasons that ligers would be a really scary and great predator.

How much does a liger weigh?

A fit liger species weight is around 900 lb (408 kg). Ligers can become obese if they do not perform exercises regularly and they can suffer from gigantism.

An obese liger will weigh up to 1200 lb (550 kg). The largest living liger weighs 1600 lb (726 kg)!

However, if we do a liger vs tigon check, tigons weigh only 400 lb (180 kg) which is a lot smaller than ligers. This is because tigons suffer from dwarfism, a condition due to which they are unable to grow and will always remain small.

What are their male and female names of the species?

A male liger is simply called a liger while a female liger is referred to as a ligress.

What would you call a baby liger?

Just like a tiger or lion's baby, a liger's baby is also called a cub. A cub's growth rate is quite good and one of the most interesting baby liger facts is that they gain 1.1 lb (500 g) of weight every day and by the age of two years, liger cubs can weigh approximately 750 lb (340 kg).

What do they eat?

Both liger and tigon cubs need their mother to feed them when they are young but when they mature enough to eat on their own, they prefer meat as they are carnivores. Ligers eat horse meat, chicken, or beef and can eat up to 100 lb (45 kg) of meat in a day.

Are they dangerous?

Ligers are pretty calm and gentle animals. Even though their parents, lions, and tigers are known to be aggressive, ligers are not known to attack or hurt their handlers.

However, if a handler is not feeding them right or is misbehaving with them then it's quite likely that they will attack him. Remember that, even if it appears to be calm, it is still a result of cross-breeding between a lion and tiger, two ferociously dangerous animals.

Would they make a good pet?

A small number of people from North America, Asia, Africa, and Europe, have kept ligers as pets. Ligers are primarily bred as an attraction and require specialized care, so no, they would not make a good pet for the vast majority of people.

Did you know...

One of the best liger facts for kids is that white lions are bred with white tigers to create white ligers. But these white ligers are not actually white in color, they are actually pale golden.

Theoretically speaking, white tigers can be bred with white lions in order to breed white (but very pale and stripeless) ligers. The first-ever news of a white liger being born came in December 2013. Still, there is no news of a black liger ever being in existence.

Is it legal to breed ligers?

Breeding ligers violates Taiwan's wildlife conservation law and is considered illegal in the country.

Most zoos frown upon the practice of breeding ligers as it is believed to be unnatural and many people think that this animal should not exist in the first place.

Ligers and tigons are a result of an experiment done by humans on lions and tigers and the moral implications of this are complex. Many people argue that ligers and tigons should not exist in the first place because the habitats of lions and tigers are situated in different parts of the world.

The only known place where these two species reside together is the Gir Forests in India but still, there has not been a single incident of a liger or tigon being born naturally here.

Can a liger reproduce?

A male liger is sterile and cannot reproduce, but this isn't the case with female ligers. Females can carry cubs in their wombs but they can only reproduce with male lions or tigers.

Lions and tigers do not breed in the jungle simply because they don't feel their mating is possible but if a lion and tiger are in a situation where mating would be conducive then there is a possibility of a liger or tigon being born in the wild.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other mammals including the South China tiger, or the Siberian tiger.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our liger coloring pages.

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Written by Divya Raghav

Bachelor of Commerce specializing in Accounting and Finance, Master of Business Administration

Divya Raghav picture

Divya RaghavBachelor of Commerce specializing in Accounting and Finance, Master of Business Administration

With a diverse range of experience in finance, administration, and operations, Divya is a diligent worker known for her attention to detail. Born and raised in Bangalore, she completed her Bachelor's in Commerce from Christ University and is now pursuing an MBA at Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies, Bangalore. Along with her professional pursuits, Divya has a passion for baking, dancing, and writing content. She is also an avid animal lover who dedicates her time to volunteering for animal welfare causes.

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