Hercules Is the Biggest Cat You’ve Ever Seen
A name like Hercules implies a hefty size, weight and strength – after all, it’s in memory of the son of Zeus. And while this kitty may not be capable of slaying Medusa, he’s certainly worthy of the namesake.
Hercules is a an adult male liger (lion plus a tigress hybrid – yes, they do actually exist) and is the largest living cat on the planet weighting in at 922-lbs. and measuring almost 11ft in length.
The friendly, intelligent cat lives in Myrtle Beach at T.I.G.E.R.S (The Institute of Greatly Endangered and Rare Species) located in South Carolina.
Ligers, which don’t exist naturally in Mother Nature will often grow up to twice the size of either of their parents, and weigh about 100X that of a house cat. The cat expresses what’s called “hybrid vigor,” meaning that he’s faster, smarter, bigger and stronger than his parents due to the melding of genes. Interestingly, while a liger will be far larger than their parents a tigon (a tiger plus a lioness) will typically be smaller than the parents.
Visitors are able to meet Hercules in person, and tours are given at TIGERS daily with reservation. The company states that proceeds go the Rare Species Fund, which provides funding to “critical on the ground international wildlife conservation programs.” Very cool!
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Of course his name is Hercules! Guess how much he weighs…