Ligers and their Population


Officially; there are about 100 ligers in the world. This population of the ligers is based upon scientifically collected data from different worldwide zoos, animal sanctuaries, safari and wild animal parks, wildlife centers and menageries. Ligerzoos.com which is an online website that tracks liger zoos from all around the world, has tracked more than 40 zoos, all over the world that had ligers. According to LIGER ZOOS website, majority of zoos which had ligers are located in United States, China and Russia. Recently; National Geographic has also pointed out total numbers of liger around the world to almost 100. However; there is a big possibility that the total numbers of ligers in the world will be more than 100, if we include privately owned liger pets as well in the overall total count.

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Liger in Shanghai Anim Preserve in Shanghai China.
Picture of a Liger in Shanghai Animal preserve in China. Picture Courtesy of  

Throughout the history, ligers have been very rare and they were only found out to be one in thousands of big cat species. During 18th and 19th centuries; less than 5 ligers have been reported worldwide. In 20th century alone, there were hardly 10 ligers in the world. However; during the 21st century, the numbers of ligers have increased by more than 10 times globally, as compared to the 20th century. In 21st century; many countries which never had any ligers; started to cross breed lions and tigresses to populate their zoos with ligers and this is one of the key reasons that there are around 100 ligers in the world. It should also be noted that the information technology boom and spread of crossbreeding studies and knowledge have also contributed to this boost within liger numbers as well.

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Liger vs Tiger Population
A Liger and tiger sitting at a zoo in United States. There are believed to b e around 90 ligers at maximum all around the world. 

United States has the biggest population of the ligers in the world. In USA ligers are either part of zoos, animal safari parks, sanctuaries or menageries. It should also be noted that USA also represents highest numbers of zoos that have ligers and as of 2017, there are 17 such zoos having ligers. According to the official count, there are at least 46 ligers in these zoos right now. However; there maybe 10s of more ligers in USA, at privately owned facilities as well. The first ever liger in USA was born in 1948 and her name was Shasta the liger (1948 -1972). At that time, there was only 1 liger in USA. Today the most popular liger zoos in USA include Myrtle Beach Safari (South Carolina), Jungle Island (Florida), Tigerworld (North Carolina) and Wynnewood Zoo (Oklahoma).

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Liger Population, numbers, estimates etc
 

China is on the second spot in the world for the total numbers of ligers. During the last 10 years or so, many zoos in China have crossbred lion and tigresses to produce ligers. Currently there are at least 8 zoos in China that have ligers and the total numbers of ligers in China are about 22. The country’s first liger was born in 2002 at Hainan Tropical Wildlife Park which is located at China’s Haiku province. A tigress at this zoo has made a world record of giving births to at least 12 liger cubs. 10 of these liger cubs are still alive today. Other most popular zoos in China include Shanghai Wild Animal Park, Harbin Zoo, Hongshan Forest Zoo, Shenzhen Wildlife Zoo and Wuxi Animal Zoo.

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Liger feeding from China York at King Richards Faire.
A Liger taking milk from China York at an Animal Sanctuary in United States. Photo Courtesy of  

Russia is on the third spot; when it comes to the official counting of the ligers globally. The country’s first liger was born in 2004 at Novosibirsk Zoo. The name of Russia’s first liger was Zita the liger. Currently; at least 4 zoos in Russia have ligers. Moreover; some privately owned circuses in Russia also have ligers as well. Russia is also the first currently in the world to breed world’s rarest liligers. A liliger has a male lion as its father and a female liger as its mother. As of 2017, there are about 12 ligers in Russia. Novosibirsk Zoo and Sochi Zoo in Russia, are the most popular zoos to watch ligers.

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Liger Brothers Playing Together
Picture of Liger Brothers Playing in an Animal Sanctuary in United States. Photo Courtesy of Cindy from Flickr Photo Albums. 

Apart from USA, China and Russia, very few countries in the world have ligers. These countries include South Korea, South Africa, Taiwan, Philippines, United Arab Emirates, Indonesia, Thailand, Argentina and Libya. A total of around 1 or two ligers are present at one of their zoos. Majority of these countries have bred ligers in the 21st century. Taiwan is the only country in the world which has put a ban on the crossbreeding of lions and tigers, after the first birth of liger cubs in 2010. It should also be noted that the total numbers of countries to breed ligers have increased in the recent years. Argentina, Philippines, United Arab Emirates and Thailand are the latest countries which have bred ligers in the recent time.

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Liger Population within United States is Highest.
United States has the highest Population numbers of ligers of around more than 30 Ligers in USA. This picture belongs to 

Recently; many news channels and their websites have claimed that the total numbers of ligers are less than 10. Such reports are either obsolete or total bogus, as their researchers had no idea about the actual numbers of the ligers. For example, recently in 2017; thedodo.com website has claimed that there are 30 ligers in the world. This count is totally wrong. Similarly; people.com and DW TV has also given their counts of ligers as only 30 and 23 respectively in 2017. These counts were absolutely wrong as well. Surprisingly these news sources are considered as mainstream media’s pillar and yet still their counts are nowhere near to the accurate.

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The population of the ligers during the 21st century has increased to 100 in 2017.
The population of the ligers during the 21st century increased by 10 times. In 2017; there were an estimated more than 100 ligers around the world. 

In order to ensure the accurate count, the best way is to refer each and every zoo that has liger and their numbers. Let’s begin this up with USA, by estimating total numbers of officially declared ligers in its various zoos

Total numbers of ligers in USA = 46

  • Myrtle Beach Safari | Total Numbers of Ligers = 9 Ligers
  • Jungle Island Miami | Total Numbers of Ligers = 2 Ligers
  • Tiger World | Total Numbers of Ligers = 1 Liger and 1 Tiliger
  • Big Cat Encounters | Total Numbers of Ligers = 1 Liger
  • Wildlife Ways station | Total Numbers of Ligers = 2 Ligers
  • Animal Safari Park Pine Mountain | Total Numbers of Ligers = 2 Ligers
  • Wild Animal Safari Stafford | Total Numbers of Ligers = 2 Ligers
  • McCarthy's Wildlife Sanctuary | Total Numbers of Ligers = 1 Liger
  • Endangered Animal Rescue Sanctuary | Total Numbers of Ligers = 1 Liger
  • Serenity Springs Wildlife Center | Total Numbers of Ligers = 2 Ligers
  • Woody's Menagerie at Illinois | Total Numbers of Ligers = 2 Ligers
  • McClelland's Critter Zoo | Total Numbers of Ligers = 2 Ligers
  • Trupentine Creek Wildlife Refuge | Total Numbers of Ligers = 2 Ligers
  • Sierra Safari Zoo | Total Numbers of Ligers = 1 Liger
  • GW Zoo | Total Numbers of Ligers = 3 Ligers, 2 Tiligers and 5 Liligers
  • D&D Farm Animal Sanctuary | Total Numbers of Ligers = 1 Liger
  • Liger at Noah's Lost Ark in Berlin Center | Total Numbers of Ligers = (3 Ligers)
  • Ainad Shrine Circus | Total Numbers of Ligers = (1 Liger)

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Liger population at Myrtle Beach Safari, South Carolina, USA.
Myrtle Beach Safari in South Carolina has successfully contributed to the population of the ligers by successfully breeding ligers and even white ligers. 

As mentioned earlier, China is on the second spot in terms of population of the ligers. There are 22 zoos in China.

Total Numbers of Ligers in China = 22

  • Shanghai Wild Animal Park | Total Numbers of Ligers = 2 Ligers
  • Hainan Tropical Wildlife Park | Total Numbers of Ligers = 8 Ligers
  • Harbin Zoo | Total Numbers of Ligers = 2 Ligers
  • Hongshan Forest Zoo | Total Numbers of Ligers = 4 Ligers
  • Shenzhen Wildlife Zoo | Total Numbers of Ligers = 4 Ligers
  • Wuxi Animal Zoo | Total Numbers of Ligers = 2 Ligers

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China has the second largest population of ligers with a total of 22 ligers.
China is on the second spot when it comes to the population of the ligers. There are 22 ligers in China as of 2017. 

Russia is on the third spot in terms of numbers of ligers at its territory. There are at least 4 zoos in Russia which have ligers.

Total Numbers of Ligers in Russia = 13 Ligers

  1. Novosibirsk Zoo | Total Numbers of Ligers = 1 Liger and 4 Liligers
  2. Sochi Zoo | Total Numbers of Ligers = 2 Ligers and 3 Liligers
  3. Kemerovo Zoo | Total Numbers of Ligers = 2 Ligers
  4. Vladivostok Zoo | Total Numbers of Ligers = 1 Liger

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Russia is on the third spot in terms of ligers' population. There are 13 ligers in Russia as of 2017.
Russia is on the third spot with maximum numbers of ligers. As of 2017; there are 13 ligers in Russia. 

Apart from USA, China and Russia; there are 12 ligers in other countries which include South Korea, South Africa, Argentina, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines and Taiwan.

Total numbers of Ligers in other Countries = 12

  • Pingtung Rescue Center in Taiwan | Total Numbers of Ligers = 1 Liger
  • Everland Zoo in south Korea | Total Numbers of Ligers = 1 Liger
  • Tripoli Zoo in Libya | Total Numbers of Ligers = 1 Liger
  • Natal Zoological Gardens in South Africa | Total Numbers of Ligers = 1 Liger
  • Biliran Mini Zoo in Philippines | Total Numbers of Ligers = 1 Liger
  • Liger in Indonesia | Total Numbers of Ligers = 1 Liger
  • Huahin Zoo in Thailand | Total Numbers of Ligers =2 Ligers
  • Lujan Zoo in Argentina | Total Numbers of Ligers = 1 Liger
  • Liger in Dubai | Total Numbers of Ligers = 3 Ligers

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Population of ligers in other countries is around 12.
Apart from USA, China and Russia; the population of the ligers in other countries is around 12.