Is Liger Hercules Sterile?

This article explores whether Hercules the liger is Sterile or not? This is a very sensitive topic, and there are many observations and view-points about sterility in ligers and also within the hybrid animals as well. Ligers are also hybrids, so are they Sterile as a whole? According to the observations hybrid animals are usually but not always sterile. This does mean that there are certain cases in the world, in which Hybrid animals have been fertile. Even in the case of big cats, it has been proven that many hybrid big cats have been fertile. A very interesting point which is likely to be mentioned here is that according to National Geographic, Hybrid crossbreeding is a natural process which takes place 10% among animal species and 30% within Plant Species.

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Liger Hercules is not Sterile.
Hercules the Liger is not Sterile. However; many people believe that all the ligers are sterile, which is a very wrong myth. Photo Courtesy of 

However; Hercules the liger hasn’t been able to breed successfully to produce its offspring. Hercules is a male liger, and no other male liger in the world has also made any successful breeding with female liger, tigress or lioness to produce its own cubs. So does it mean that Hercules the liger is Sterile? A very simple logic will say “Straight Yes” to this question.

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Male Ligers have failed to reproduce.
Male Ligers have failed to reproduce so far. But this does not mean that we generalize this initial observation on all the ligers. Photo Courtesy of 

Hercules the liger shares its enclosure with female Tabby Tigers (A Tabby tiger is a tiger breed that has relatively dim colored stripes on its skin). On many occasions Hercules the liger has been spotted mating with the female tigers. However; just having mating does not reflect that an animal is fertile. Even Sterile hybrid animals can have mating with their own kinds or with the species belonging to their parents. All this indicates that Sexual urge is present within hybrid animals, but the process which produces offspring does not work successfully within hybrid animals.

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Liger Hercules mating with tabby tiger. Hercules the liger has a strong sexual urge.
Picture of Hercules the liger mating with a female tabby tiger. This means that Hercules the liger has normal testosterone level just like male lions and tigers which further suggests that Hercules the liger has a strong sexual urge as well. This picture belongs to 

But according to the scientific theories for successful mating both the male and female species should have equal numbers of chromosomes. In the case of unequal chromosomes, the chances of offspring and successful mating drop significantly. Lions, tigers and Ligers have 38 Chromosomes. Among ligers 19 Chromosomes are from their mothers and 19 Chromosomes are from their fathers. So in the case of Ligers, the chromosomes are equal. And Hercules the liger will also have 38 Chromosomes, which again gives a very strong probability; that Hercules the liger does have a very strong probability of successfully breeding with tigresses or lionesses.

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Liger Hercules has ideal numbers of Chromosomes
Hercules the liger has ideal numbers of chromosomes for a successful mating. This finding strongly suggests that Hercules the liger is not sterile at all. This picture belongs to 

This is the key reason; that female ligers on many occasions around the world have successfully bred with male lions and male tigers. Their offspring are called Li-Ligers, and Ti-Ligers. A Li-Liger has a male Lion and female liger, while a Ti-Liger has a male Tiger and female liger. However; if Hercules the liger will successfully mate with any female liger, it will produce a pure liger species. But this never happened before, but will this ever happen, that a liger will have its own offspring (A Pure Liger Cub)?

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Female Ligers are not sterile. They successfully reproduce.
It is already proven that female ligers are not sterile at all as there have been couple of examples of Li-Ligers and Ti-Ligers in the world. This picture belongs to 

According to Dr. Bhagavan Antle; ligers are not sterile. Ligers can successfully reproduce. Ligers have reproduced before, and they will successfully reproduce in future as well. He believes that Female Ligers reproduce much better than the male Ligers. So he is pointing towards female ligers as being more successful for breeding rather than the male liger. Dr. Bhagavan Antle is very optimistic that a male liger can reproduce as well. Dr. Bhagavan Antle has more than 30 years of experience with the Big Cats including ligers, tigers and lions. He has successfully launched breeding programs for hybrids (Ligers) many times and also owns Hercules the liger as well. So it is too early to conclude that Hercules the liger is Sterile. Ligers male ligers might still be in the evolving stage and with better scientific help in the future, it might be possible that the male ligers can successfully reproduce.

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Liger hercules is not sterile according to Dr. Bhagavan Antle.
According to Dr. Bhagavan Antle no liger in the world is sterile. Liger has a hybrid vigor. He strongly believes that Hercules the liger is fertile. Photo Courtesy of