Famous Ligers

About - Famous Ligers - Controversy

5/14/48 - 1972

ShastaShasta lived at the Hogle zoo in Salt Lake City. She was born at the Hogle Zoo in Salt Lake City and died at age 24. She lived through the better part of the cold war. She overcame all of the typical hardships that tend to afflict ligers: blindness, depression, growth dysplasia.  Shasta was a liger born in Utah accidentally when money forced an unlikely couple together. It seems they were short of money and moved the parents into the same cage.  Shasta was ginormous (14 feet long), but also sterile and mentally handicap.

More info on Shasta can be found HERE



1990 - present

Patrick The LigerPatrick Born in 1990 and arrived in the Mojave Desert near Los Angeles, California May 1998.  He arrived at the sanctuary seven years ago after federal authorities shut down the roadside zoo in Illinois where he lived.  The 800-pound liger was kept in such a small cage that his hind-leg muscles had started to atrophy, said Hedren, who starred in Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds.  Patrick's compound at Shambala allowed him plenty of room for exercise. A stream runs through his compound, so his tiger half can play in the water or his lion half can stay out of it, whichever he chooses.  The four-and-a-half-year-old hybrid tips the scales at over a thousand pounds , and eats 30 to 50 pounds of raw meat every other day. "Samson is really picky. He'll only eat beef, elk, and venison," Smith said. "We try and feed him chicken, like the other animals, but he won't touch it. He'll let it rot in the sun."

More info on Patrick can be found HERE


8/18/1992 - 2/23/2007

Hobbs The LigerBack in August of 1992, a tiger somewhere in Indiana had unexpected cubs. She had been living with a lion, and one or both of them were supposed to have been neutered. Apparently not, as the cubs born to this tigress were ligers, a cross between a male lion and a female tiger. There were five cubs total, with one of them being smaller than the others. While there was some interest in the four bigger ligers, there was not much interest in the runt. The owner of this facility had another friend at a new zoo that had just been started in Reno, Nevada. He offered them this unique cub, and told them to take a whirl at trying to raise it.  This special cub did thrive in his new environment, and quickly drew lots of attention both inside and outside the zoo. They named this little (but rapidly growing) liger 'Hobbs' after the tiger in the comic strip, 'Calvin and Hobbes'. Hobbs was a pleasure to work with, and very well-behaved for a big cat. And Hobbs helped put Sierra Safari Zoo 'on the map'.  Hobbs was enormous. He weighed about 900 pounds.

More info on Hobbs found HERE


2002 - present

HerculesJungle Island in Miami, USA is home to Hercules, said to be the largest liger. He is said to weigh over 900 lbs, this is more than twice the size of a male lion. Hercules was in the Guinness Book of World Records as being the largest cat. Hercules is a 900-pound-heavy, 6-feet-tall and 12-feet-long liger who holds the Guinness World Record for the largest cat. Born from a lion father and tiger mother, Hercules grew into an impressive creature, able to run at speeds of up to 50 mph and eat 100 pounds of food in one sitting. Ligers have been known to be fat and unhealthy cats, but Hercules is an exceptional specimen that got the best from both feline races.  Hercules is thought to have been the result of an accident on the part of his parents, who lived in close proximity at the Institute of Greatly Endangered and Rare Species, in Miami, Florida, rather than a grand cross-species romance.  Despite his gigantic size, Hercules is very tame and Dr. Bhagavan, one of the liger’s caretakers, says looking into his eyes is “like looking into God’s own eyes”

More info on Hercules found HERE