Outlaw is a female liger born in September 2010. She was given to the Foundation as part of a behavioral research project. She is in excellent health.
The Liger is the largest cat on the planet because Ligers lack both copies of the growth inhibitor genes inherited from the parents. In lions the females carry this gene, and in tigers it is carried by the males. When a male lion and female tiger mate, neither of them is able to supply the growth inhibitor, which means that Ligers continue to grow throughout their lifespan. Ligers often suffer genetic abnormalities and neurological problems, which could shorten their lifespan. Being a curious fusion of two different species, the Liger chuffs like a tiger and roars like a lion. Also, some Ligers enjoy swimming; an activity tigers partake in but lions do not. Most male Ligers have rudimentary manes similar to a male lion.
The Liger does not occur naturally in the wild. Most are the result 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. Research has found that 90% of male Ligers are sterile, but some female Ligers are fertile and can be bred back to a Tiger. Today there are 60 documented Ligers in the U.S. and 5 documented Tiligers (Liger female crossed with a male tiger), one of which calls our Foundation her home! Researchers believe that Tiligers will not suffer from the same birth defects that Ligers do because of their genetics.
|Body Length||10 – 11.5 ft|
|Weight||700 to 1200 pounds|
|Gestation Period||100 days|
|Litter Size||2 – 3 average|
|Life Span||12 – 20 years in captivity|
|Location||Found only in captivity in the U.S.|