Topaz is a female tiliger, a cross between a male tiger (Panthera tigris tigris) and a female liger (tiger/lion -panthera leo- cross), born in early December 2014. Like the beautiful potpourri of colors of her namesake gem, Topaz has a medley of tiger and lion genes. She came to us for animal behavior and nutrition research. She will live a full, happy, and healthy life here at the Foundation and become an important part of our educational programs.
The tiliger is extremely rare. It is the offspring of a male tiger and a female liger. Tiligers are 75% tiger and 25% lion. There are approximately six tiligers in the world, including ours. We believe this man-made species has been bred only in the United States.
The Foundation will monitor and conduct non-invasive research on our tiliger pertaining to animal soundness, nutrition and behavior. What we learn will be shared with other facilities to help all of us understand these mysterious, extraordinary animals. We look forward to seeing how she develops. Being a curious fusion of two different species, will she chuff like a tiger or roar like a lion? Maybe both! She may even enjoy swimming, which lions do not.
Ligers, the offspring of a male lion and female tiger, do not inherit a growth inhibitor gene because it is carried by female lions and male tigers. Our tiliger is the offspring of a female liger and male tiger, but it is unknown whether her tiger father passed on the growth inhibitor to her. She may continue to grow throughout her life as ligers do. While ligers oftentimes suffer genetic abnormalities and neurological problems, researchers believe that tiligers will not suffer from the same birth defects that ligers do.
|Gestation Period||100 days|
|Litter Size||2 – 4 average|
|Life Span||12 – 20 years, found only in captivity in the United States|