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Maya is a female Liger; a hybrid feline produced solely in captivity by the union of a male lion and a female tiger. The Liger is the largest cat on the planet, and Maya is proving that to us as she presently weighs 125 lbs. at just over a year old. She was given to us as a gift from a private owner in honor of the unique educational programs we offer the public. Because the Liger lacks growth inhibitor genes, oftentimes they suffer genetic abnormalities and nuerological problems which render them susceptible to the fate of a short lifespan. The Foundation will monitor and conduct non-invasive research on Maya pertaining to animal soundness, nutrition, and behavior. We will strive to uncover the struggle of having a lion and a tiger trapped in one body. Data collected will help other facilities understand these extradordinary, mysterious animals.
The Liger does not occur naturally in the wild, consequently there is not a scientific name that identifies it. Most are said to have come about resultant of accidental breeding in captivity. Historical reports of the Liger date back to the early 19th century, since then it has remained somewhat of a rare exotic cat. Indeed, today there are less than 100 in the U.S. Because the Liger is a hybrid, genes delegate males to be sterile and females to often be fertile. Imprinted genes may be a factor in contributing to both the female and male Ligers' unregulated growth, that of which generates massive body weights and lengths. A Liger can attain weights in excess of 1,000 lbs. and lengths of up to 12 ft. Being a curious fusion of two different species, the Liger chuffs like a tiger and roars like a lion. Also, it enjoys swimming; an activity tigers partake in but lions do not. Most male Ligers have rudimentary manes similar to a male lion.
How you can help the Liger.
Maya requires a tremendous amount of enrichment because of her young, playful and inquisitive age. Considerable strides are taken to keep her content, and she definitely keeps us on our toes as she destroys every toy we give her! She eats about 14 lbs. a day; meals are made up of any mixture of rabbits, rats, beef, turkey, chicken, lamb, emu, and venison. A wide variety of food keeps her interest and ensures a healthy body weight is maintained as she grows. A special vitamin recipe is also added to her food. Maya receives a monthly dose of Revolution to control fleas and other parasites. Clean shavings are an essential component of her enclosure. Every month, $300 goes to keeping our amazing Maya happy and content. Please consider supporting Maya with an annual gift of $3,600. When the Foundation moves to its new location, Maya will need a large enclosure that costs $7,200. We are also looking for a donor to provide her with this.