According to the open debate at the National Geographic magazine for the kids, it is specifically mentioned that ligers have lesser life span. Therefore, ethically it is not right to have breeds of the ligers. But there has never been a clear evidence about this that ligers live only for shorter periods of time (National Geographic, 2010). On the other hand since it is a debate therefore, there is no statement that confirms that ligers live lesser than lion or tigers. Therefore, it can be a speculation and it can be true as well. There is less research data about the lifespan of the ligers, therefore, it is too early to conclude that ligers live short. Ligerworld.com in this article has gathered the facts and analyzed the ages of different popular ligers from the last decade or so.
The lifespan of the ligers is as similar as other big cats. It is very normal and there is nothing abnormal about the lifespan of the ligers. This picture belongs to Vinyltoyz
WIKIANSWERS indicate that the average age of the lions in the wild is around 15 years. On the other hand, within the captivity, they can live around 20 years. The same age is truly predicted for the tigers in the wild, but in the captivity, they are believed to live for even 25 years. Given these things in mind and taking into account that there are nearly 30 ligers available in the world, the following pivot chart can provide a key understanding about the age of the ligers.
The above chart indicates Lifespan and ages of Lions, Tigers and a Liger. You can see that the age of the liger is the highest within those lifespan. Now this is a verified age as the data is retrieved from a published research paper.
Now this research was carried out about the female big cats to determine the disease named as pyometra (McCain et al., 2009). But look at the ages of the lions, ligers, tigers and even that of leopard. Liger has the highest age among this sample size. Taking into account there are only less than 30 ligers available in the captivity, this statement contradicts that ligers have lifespan problems. They are supposed to live more than 10 years old at least and this subject liger has reached well beyond the age of the normal living age of the tigers and lions in the wild. Relating small life-span in this study might not be a good idea. But these findings have a lot of limitations and there might well be a lot of criticism over it as well. Therefore, the age of a liger can still be an active debate.
In 2006, a liger named as Samson died at the age of 11 to 13 years expectedly (Black Hills Pioneer, 2006). A prime age of the tiger and lion in the wild is usually around 5 years and they die about 10 years old. While in the cages, they both live around 20 years. Therefore, 11 to 13 year age of the liger sounds like below than an average age span living in the cage. But from the perspective of the wild, this age statistic looks alright. However, yet still the best way to research will be to evaluate the morality rates of the ligers. Such morality rates can indicate how they died and at which age.
Samson the liger had the lifespan of 13 years which is very normal for a big cat. This picture belongs to tkingokc
In 1972, a female liger was died at the age of 24. That was the only liger in the world by that time (The Telegraph, 1972). Comparing this age with the ages of other cats such as lions and tigers, it does appear that ligers do not have been troubled with the shorter life-spans at all. However, there have been reported deaths of the ligers during the birth times as well but even tiger cubs die with almost the same rates at the time of the births as well. It is very pre-mature to develop the statement that ligers live for lesser amount of time periods.
The lifespan of female ligers is much more as compared to the male ligers. A female liger in 1972 lived for 24 years. This is a highest age for a liger ever been recorded. this Picture belongs to tkingokc
Sources and References
[For more comprehensive and specific referencing, visit the article individually as it will give more information about ligers and references].
Black Hills Pioneer. (2006). Liger Dies at Sanctuary. Black Hills Pioneer.
McCain, S., Ramsay, E., Dipl, A.C., Matthew, C., Allender, D.V., Souza, C. & Schumacher, J. (2009). Pyometra in Captive Large Felids: A review of Eleven Cases. Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine, 40 (1), 147-151.
National Geographic Kids Almanac. (2010). Available at [books.google.com].
The Telegraph. (1972). World’s Only Liger is Dead.
The Lifespan of Hercules the liger is more than 12 years currently as of 2013. Hercules is very healthy and actively participates at Animal Sanctuary shows in Miami. This picture belongs to Vinyltoyz