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I am a mad scientist with an intelligence matching Albert Einstein and Steven Hawking, and plan to create a new species of animal. After watching Napeoleon Dynanite, widely considered by critics to be the greatest movie ever made in the 21st century, i have decided to put my plan into action. To accomplish this, I have decided to crossbreed lions and tigers to make hybrids. The resulting creatures are tigons or ligers, which are only found in zoos due to their close proximity. My plan is to introduce these types into the wild naturally.

Animals are not sapient, and the idea that they deserve rights is completely absurd. After ignoring the protests of useless and irrelevant organizations such as PETA, I have removed a large sample of lions and tigers and introduced them into a country away from civilization where they are the dominant species. This country would be hidden from the rest of the world by being shrunken down. Over time, as various specimens shag each other, more of these hybrids will be born. Overtime, as enough ligers or tigons are produced in the wild naturally, there would be enough to be considered a new species and possess the best combination of both animals.

How can I design circumstances to guarantee that this would happen naturally?

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    $\begingroup$ They are already a species? Ligers? Tigons? and Ttitigons? exist and have been documented. Can you elaborate on what you're trying to do? $\endgroup$ – Shadowzee Feb 26 at 2:09
  • $\begingroup$ @shadowzee they only exist in captivity due to promixity. They need to come about naturally in nature. $\endgroup$ – Incognito Feb 26 at 2:10
  • $\begingroup$ So your asking how to or how many you would need to release into the wild to create a stable population? $\endgroup$ – Shadowzee Feb 26 at 2:14
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    $\begingroup$ Let me see if I have this right. You have shrink ray. That can cover an entire country. But instead of genetically engineering your super cats, you are going to embark on a multi-generational breeding program that will likely take centuries? $\endgroup$ – Xavon_Wrentaile Feb 26 at 3:50
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    $\begingroup$ @dsollen fair enough. $\endgroup$ – Pelinore Feb 28 at 15:26
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reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liger

  1. In the first generation, all females should be of one species and all males the other. A female in heat will have a male of the other species as her only option. You will need 2 areas, one for ligers and one for tigons (in F1 generation)

  2. With the F1 and subsequent generations it gets tricky. First generation liger and tigon males are sterile. These should be removed from the population as they are big, and will outcompete pure lion and tiger males for mates.

  3. Taking the scenario with tiger females and lion males initially, then female ligers and the same pure lion males, the problem is with F2 and subsequent the gene mix shifts towards lion, with dilution of tiger genes. You could let that happen, or swap the male populations of your lion and tiger. You could hope that in F2 or later generations one of the male hybrids is fertile - there is only one wa e you have a fertile male hybrid then you can use him as the sire for the rest of your line of hybrids.

Ultimately as with any breeding project one breeds for the desired traits, coupling parent animals according to those traits.

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    $\begingroup$ I strongly suspect the liger/tigon males would not out-compete pure males. Their large mass is not healthy, it's very difficult to hunt sufficient food to fuel such a mass and the mass is so much it gets in the way of hunting and causes increase health risks. Odds are most hybrid males will die out before making it to mating age in the wild. Those that do will also not be an attractive mate since Kinophilia (which causes species to be opposed to mating with members of other species) will cause the females to find the hybrids unattractive. $\endgroup$ – dsollen Feb 27 at 22:59
  • $\begingroup$ "the problem is with F2 and subsequent the gene mix shifts towards lion, with dilution of tiger genes" ~ So surely you just keep rotating between tiger & lion males each generation until you finally get fertile males. $\endgroup$ – Pelinore Feb 28 at 5:14
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    $\begingroup$ @Pelinore - I worry that having to schlep the entire male population of an area back and forth every few years means the area is not really "the wild" any more but a sort of managed preserve. $\endgroup$ – Willk Feb 28 at 15:34
  • $\begingroup$ ^ gotcha, trying to sit tight within the idea of "in the wild". $\endgroup$ – Pelinore Feb 28 at 15:37
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While I don't know that much about mating lions and tigers (will they do it naturally, in the wild?), there's a perfectly good example of species interbreeding out there right now: the coywolf, a natural hybrid of wolf and coyote: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coywolf

What you apparently need is for one species (if not both) to be so rare that it is difficult for them to find mates of their own species, and for there to be an available ecological niche for the resulting hybrids to occupy. Both happened in eastern North America in the last couple of centuries, as the native wolves were hunted to near-extinction, allowing opportunistic coyotes to migrate into their former range and mate with the surviving wolves. The hybrids proved more adaptable than either parent species, the population exploded, and they're well on their way to being a new species.

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    $\begingroup$ For info, this has also happened in the past with coyotes and wolves and produced the red wolf: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_wolf $\endgroup$ – Ynneadwraith Feb 28 at 10:35
  • $\begingroup$ Lion and tiger will mate with each other in absence of other options, but will prefer to mate within species if at all possible. The big issue though is that their offspring are not very healthy and males are usually infertile. Some species can produce hybrids that are more viable then either parent species, while other's (most) produce hybrids that are not very viable. coywolf is one of the rarer cases of a very viable hybrid. Lion and tiger fit into not really viable category of hybrids though. $\endgroup$ – dsollen Feb 28 at 16:40

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