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In support of ligers

Written By: Jason Shafrin - Jan• 18•11

I was watching Nightline last night and there was a story on interesting animal hybrids.  These include Zedonks, Beefalos, Wholpins, and–as made famous in Napoleon Dynamite–ligers.  Besides the obvious appeal of creating something never seen before, is it worthwhile to create these hybrids?

One “expert” said that creating these crossbreeds upset the natural order of things.  Why do humans need to create these species mixes for their own entertainment?

Nevertheless, I support the liger.   Any individual liger would certainly not argue that they didn’t have the right to exist.  Just because the liger appears “odd” or “unnatural” to certain experts, doesn’t mean that the liger isn’t equally as worthwhile of recognition as the more popular lions and tigers.  In fact, the man who bred the ligers said that they appear to be larger, stronger, and to live longer than either a lion or tiger.  Ligers may be weird, but they are not unnatural.

In the human world, the “breeding” of blacks and whites to create mulattoes was once seen as against the natural order as well.

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  1. Dave Killion says:

    But are ligers more dangerous? What if they are some kind of super-predator satisfied only with human flesh? Most importantly, who will make a movie based on my irrational fears?

  2. alex says:

    The major difference is that lions and tigers are different species, not breeds, and the liger is sterile – this is much more akin to breeding a human with a chimpanzee, an activity far less widely accepted than interracial marriage.

  3. Indy says:

    I guess he’d be against mules too. You know, as in, “40 acres and a mule.” It’s too bad, mules have been pretty useful for millions of people for thousands of years, and are still popular. But according to the views of this expert, they should never be your beast of burden.

  4. JWill says:

    There is nothing stopping people from doing it for fun if they really want to (well, there are laws, but besides that…). The real reason one might be against doing it are economics, on anything other than a “just to see what its like” small scale.

    A good proportion of organizations keeping lions or tigers are taking conservation money to subsidize their expenses. Ligers are sterile, and therefore play little or no role in conservation. Except maybe indirectly, but making people more interested in animals. But one would have to justify that with a business model, not just claim it is true.

  5. Xmas says:

    Ligers aren’t sterile, though the cubs have all sorts of issues, and I’m assuming they don’t breed true.

  6. misterxroboto says:

    alex and JWill:

    The liger is not sterile.


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