Hybridisation - Page 1: General Information | 2: Objections To Hybridisation
Objections to hybridisation:
Since hybrids are, for the most part, incapable of breeding, usually the only way to produce more of these unusual specimens is to cross-breed other valuable purebred and mixed heritage cats. Here, several issues arise:
Many zoos and other facilities now consider cross-breeding to be just another form of animal abuse. Consequently the zoological demand for hybrid cats, such as ligers, tigons and leopons, has now ceased. The few that still occur are usually accidental and may be caused when cat contraceptive implants do not work, or a private organisation fails to realise their hybrid female could be fertile.
Illegal exportation of tigers:
Some private breeders use hybridisation as a way to help satisfy the demand for pet big cats. With minor alterations to paperwork even purebred tigers can be sold under the premise of being hybrids.
Normal tiger cubs may be found advertised for sale as tigons. This is because the laws in some countries (including much of the United States) allow hybrid tigons to be sold over state lines or exported; the same does not apply to purebred tigers for which this is usually illegal. Understandably, customs officers are usually not in a position to be able to recognise this scam.