At Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge, we have around 92 animals at our facility. Around half of those animals are tigers and the rest include bears, servals, bobcats, cougars, leopards, and hybrids. One hybrid we are going to focus on is a female liger named Fergy. Fergy came to our facility in 2016 from Colorado. We were able to rescue 115 animals from a roadside zoo in Calhan, Colorado. We didn’t have enough room for all of those animals here at TCWR, so we ended up bringing 34 of those animals to our facility and the rest to other sanctuaries all over the United States.
Fergy is very playful, but at the same time very wild. She loves her habitat she has by herself, and is often seen in the morning playing with her neighbors Lakota and Aurora, also rescued from Colorado. She loves to play in her pool in the summertime. During summer at TCWR, you may get a chance to see her try to drown her toys in that pool.
A Liger is a mix between a male lion and a female tiger. Hybrids like Fergy will not be found in the wild. Lions and tigers live in 2 completely different places around the world. One species living in Africa while the other lives is Asia. These hybrids are created for personal gain for individuals in the Exotic Pet Trade or Entertainment Industry. Since a liger is a man-made creature, they have the potential to suffer from gigantism. This leads to major health concerns. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, “Hercules” is the largest liger and living cat in the world, weighing in at 922 pounds and 10.8 feet long.
Being since they are half lion and half tiger each animal is different in their personalities. They take after both species. Most ligers have spots on their face and maybe some strips on their bodies similar to tigers. Their overall body shape, however, resembles a lion. They have the ability to communicate like both lions and tigers.
At the Colorado facility, the 112 animals were living on 12 acres of land and walking on loose screws and metal. This facility had very small enclosures for these animals to live in. At our facility, our animals have a large grassy area where they can roam around. They also have a night-house for when they want to get out of the view of the public. This is also where they will eat and drink water. Connected to the night-house is a den where they can find shelter from the weather or take naps in.
What you can do to help animals like Fergy, is you can donate to the cause at tcwr.org, educate your friends and family, and visit true sanctuaries or zoos. You can visit GFAS to help you determine what facility to visit.