Lion + Tiger = Liger

Friday, January 20th 2006, 9:32 am
By: News On 6

Here is your chance to see something unusual, a liger. A really big cat with a lion for a father and tiger for a mother. It doesn't happen in nature because the animals live on different continents, but as News on 6 reporter Rick Wells explains, there is a liger at Safari's Exotic Wildlife Sanctuary.

Frank Gaddy and I are visiting with Rocky. Rocky's a bit unusual, he's a liger. So what's a liger? A liger has a lion father and a tiger mother, different than a tigon, tiger father and lion mother. Rocky is a big boy.

Frank Gaddy: "Well, he won't get on the scales for us, but we have him estimated right at 1,000 pounds." That's really big, about twice the weight of a male lion. His chew toys are bowling balls, they last longer.

Like all the big cats at Safari's, he gets a big chunk of ground beef to eat and he like chicken drum sticks as a treat.

So where'd he come from? Frank Gaddy: "He came to us from a zoo in North Carolina, the zoo had to close, it ran out of funds." At the zoo, the lion and tiger were housed together and well, you know, here's Rocky. He has the color of a lion but you can see the stripes, his head is a lions but the marking are tiger.

In addition, like the tiger side of his family he doesn't mind climbing in the water to cool off and get this, he's bi-lingual. Frank Gaddy: "He chuffs like a tiger and roars like a lion." Isn’t that cool!

You can visit Rocky yourself or take a whole group. Rocky is located at the Safari Exotic Wildlife Sanctuary at 26881 East 58th Street in Broken Arrow.