Wednesday, December 19, 2007

crouching LIGER hidden TIGON

While some people first came across the name of ligers through the 2004 released movie-- Napoleon Dynamite, I got my first exposure on this magnificent beast by watching a documentary. I’m not sure whether it was played on National Geography or Animal Planet or Discovery Channel (I love them all), I can’t really remember.

Since I only got the chance to watch the last 10-minutes of the documentary, I think that the information was not enough. So, I surf the internet, and I found about tigons. And so does about liguars, jaglions, leopons, and lots of other Panthera hybrid. And If I were to describe my feelings in one word, I would say I feel fascinated.

But, let’s just say that that is so not me. I love writing. This is why I wrote this article. For those who have no idea of both liger and tigon, here is a summary for you. Liger is the offspring produced by male lion and female tigress. On the other hand, tigon is the offspring produced by male tiger and female lioness.

The accredited zoos under American Zoo and Aquarium Association (AZA) would never mix two different species. However, some zoos which own ligers claimed that it happened accidentally. Pity the lion; I think it must have felt really lonely that it is willing to mate with a tigress. Unlike ligers, tigons are much rarer since it is unlikely that a male tiger is able to mate with female lioness. Besides, a lot of tigon will die before they can make it into this world. Premature birth is also likely to occur due to some reasons.

Even though it was an accident, but, like any other scientific mayhem such as cloning, the existence of liger and tigon is also being questioned. It is the matter of etiquette. This is my personal opinion:

I think that liger and tigon should be given opportunities to live like any other protected animal since they are innocent. It was their parents’ fault right? Funny. Or maybe we should blame some people who breed them to gain money from their popularity as exotic animals.

Come to think of it, I can’t imagine if these humongous ligers (which stands ten feet tall on its hind legs), does live in the wild (but this can’t happen due to their habitats do not overlap). I mean, to survive an attack of a lion is considered really lucky, and to die of being attacked by a lion is considered as horrible, what would we say if we encounter liger (which can weigh up to 1000 pounds) looking at us as its prey? Oh no, this can give me nightmares!

And I pity the zoos, or any other centre that take care of them. Ligers obviously eat more. And that costs more money. Who says it is an easy job?
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