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Jaguar-tiger hybrid?

Discussion in 'Mexico' started by Adam Khor, 8 Jun 2011.

  1. Adam Khor

    Adam Khor Active Member

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    They say that the world's only tiguar lives in the Altiplano zoo in Mexico... according to some websites his name is Mickey and he is very healthy despite his well, being a hybrid. However, there are absolutely no pics of the animal anywhere. I called the guys in the Altiplano zoo but couldn´t locate the director to ask for more info, but the guy who answered the phone told me that indeed, they have a tiguar.

    Does anyone else know about this? Or even, does anyone have pictures of the cat?
     
  2. Adam Khor

    Adam Khor Active Member

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    A zoologist has found what he believes is a photo of the Altiplano zoo tiguar, but he warns that in some websites the photo is said to be of a tigon or another sort of hybrid:

    [​IMG]

    There has been snow recently in Tlaxcala so the argument that this couldn´t be the tiguar because it doesn´t snow in Mexico is actually invalid.
    My question is, has any of you seen this photo or this animal before? If this is indeed the tiguar from the Tlaxcala zoo then it may be the only photo of such a hybrid in existence.
     
  3. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    the photo doesn't really look how I would expect a jaguar X tiger to look, with neither spots nor any stripes to speak of, but of course who really knows what one would look like?! (Still, it looks like a liger or tigon to me)

    There's a Zoochat thread here about jaguar X lion hybrids: http://www.zoochat.com/223/jaglions-half-jaguar-half-lion-16087/
    And some photos in this gallery: Tring Natural History Museum Gallery

    EDIT: I'm guessing the zoologist you mention in your post is Karl Shuker. On his site he includes the above photo and a still from a youtube video of probably the same cat which he equates with Mickey: http://karlshuker.blogspot.com/2011/12/wonderful-thing-about-tiguars.html
     
  4. Kifaru Bwana

    Kifaru Bwana Well-Known Member

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    I also seem to phantom more a non jaguar ancestor in this pic hybrid ..
    Not saying I doubt the Altiplano claim ... :cool:

    Would again be nice to see more of this zoo. Never heard of it ... but hey that is not a measure of quality. So, looking forward to it ...
     
  5. Adam Khor

    Adam Khor Active Member

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    To be honest, I've heard its not a very good zoo, and there was some controversy surrounding it not so long ago- low security, stolen animals, even rumors of the local authorities making a profit by selling the zoo's animals to unknown bidders and then making the oficial statement that the animals had died or that they were being kept quarantined (even zookeepers declared that this wasn´t true and that the animals were basically being harvested from the zoo by the authorities with unknown purposes). The enclosures are also said to be low quality. I have never been to the zoo so I can´t confirm or refute all of this by myself, but it doesn´t have a very good reputation.

    And of course, I suposse this may make some wonder if we can actually believe the tiguar claim from this zoo- I've always thought its strange that such a unique animal is given no publicity by the zoo at all. I mean, I know the breeding of hybrids is considered unethical by many zoos, but a relatively small zoo in a relatively poor country would be expected to take advantage of such a creature- a tiguar could be the star of the park, and yet, there are no official photos, no official website (at all) and almost nothing known about the cat. I myself phoned the zoo and asked if I could possibly be sent some pictures of the tiguar for a project I was working on- the caretaker told me that he thought there would be no problem, but that I had to talk to the zoo owners, and then every time I called in subsequent days no one would pick up the phone. :(

    What frustrates me the most, though, is that I haven´t been able to locate anyone who has visited the zoo to ask if they have seen the cat themselves- as I'm told it is indeed kept in exhibition. :confused:
     
  6. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    I have some doubts about the truth of the "tiguar" story, for similar reasons to Adam Khor's post above. I would also question Shuker's equation of the above photo with the still from the youtube video. The cage on the video is what looks like a small old barred type cage, and yet the photo above seems like a staged photo taken outside with a tame cat (but it is not apparently an official photo from the zoo; in fact I would suggest that it in all likelihood it was taken in the USA and has nothing to do with the Mexican animal at all). There may be a hybrid jaguar X tiger at the Altiplano Zoo....or it may just be a publicity story. I don't think the photo has anything to do with it though.

    The youtube video is below, and the cat is shown in two different still shots at minute 3.00 and minute 3.09. It doesn't look anything like the cat in the photo posted on this thread!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 6 Jul 2017
  7. Adam Khor

    Adam Khor Active Member

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    The photo's setting may make sense though because recently it was announced that the cat was given a new, larger and open enclosure. I guess it was in the cage only when it was small.
    This is precisely why I want to find someone who has been there :S
     
  8. FBBird

    FBBird Well-Known Member

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    This looks to me more like a Tigon than anything else, as does the one in the video [and what a boring video -- admittedly I can't get sound on my computer -- but it was mainly PEOPLE, which I see quite enough of in my day job.....]
     
  9. carlos77

    carlos77 Well-Known Member

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    PROFEPA (the mexican enviromental agency) detected illegal animal trafficking at the zoologico del altiplano, tlaxcala during 2011. If you google profepa and zoologico del altiplano you can find the ugly news. Felines and bears are missing. The news report do not state what is being done to remedy this terrible situation. I am certain this would not have occured at the reputable mexican animal collections like chapultepec zoo, africam safari puebla, or guadalajara zoo. This news speaks of the standards at this place in Tlaxcala. A question made by many mexican citizens in these cases of ugly corruption, who is responsible and will that person be legally sentenced ?
     
  10. Arizona Docent

    Arizona Docent Well-Known Member

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    The cat in the snow (the still photo) appears to be a different animal than the one in the video. The still photo animal has stripes on its face that are missing in the video animal. Also, the still photo cat is a much younger animal, with the characteristic pink nose of a young cat, while the video cat is older with a black nose.

    I am not sure what the cat in the snow is (but tigon seems likely). The cat in the video could be the aformentioned cross however. If you freeze the video (hit the pause button) at the 3:10 mark and look closely on the flank of the body, you can see a very faint rosette pattern.
     
  11. Adam Khor

    Adam Khor Active Member

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    The one in the video doesn´t look like an adult to me...
     
  12. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    while I agree the two cats are certainly not the same individuals, I'm not sure about the rosettes you can see on the video one. The photo in the clip is a blow-up and so is somewhat pixelated, hence the apparent markings may be an artifact of this (although it looks like there are reddish spots on the forelimb as well).

    I can see this turning into an interesting (and probably ultimately unsolvable) mystery.
     
  13. velizar

    velizar Active Member

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    The animal on the photo with snow is Zita, a female liger at Novosibirsk zoo , Russia.
     
  14. velizar

    velizar Active Member

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    as for the the animal in the video - that is a young lioness.
     
  15. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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  16. velizar

    velizar Active Member

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    Well, both shots on the video are certainly not of the best quality, but based on just those two pictures only there is nothing on them to suggest that this is not a lioness.
     
  17. carlos77

    carlos77 Well-Known Member

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    I gave a conference at the Universidad Autonoma de Tlaxacala yesterday. When i asked about the tiguar, other professors told me that they had never heard of it. I asked a former student of mine to take me to the zoologico del altiplano. I went this morning. I found a pleasant middle sized zoo. It had a nice feline section with african lions, puma, 2 siberian tigers which i saw mating, 2 jaguars ( black and spotted) and bobcats. No tiguar. When i asked a girl from the staff, she told me that there was no such animal. "Why would we do that difficult mating", she answered very surprised. I will place some photos of the zoologico del altiplano later, it is not such a bad place. As i tell my students, do not believe everything you read on internet, go for the direct empirical facts. So again, Mickey the tiguar does not exist.
     
  18. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    thanks Carlos, it will be good to see some photos of the zoo. It would be interesting to trace back to the original reports of the "tiguar" and see where it all started.
     
  19. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    well I've just been doing a rudimentary Google search and everything is basically saying exactly the same thing, because on the internet everyone just cuts and pastes everyone else's work. But what is interesting is that even though the "tiguar" is supposed to have been born in June 2009, I found a couple of Spanish-language forums mentioning it in posts from May 2009 saying it is "already two years old" (and with a specification that it lives in a 400 metre square enclosure, which is an intriguing detail to have).

    Stuff like this really intrigues me, so when I have more time I'm going to keep digging into the deeper recesses of the internet and see what I can unearth.
     
  20. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    a follow-up from yesterday.

    Tracking back from the various Spanish-language forums that mention Mickey the Tiguar in early 2009, the earliest reference I can find is the Spanish version of Wikipedia, specifically the page "Hibridos del genero Panthera", onto which the familiar couple of sentences was added on 23 December 2008. There is no citation, but this appears to be the original source from which all other sites cut-and-pasted it. At that time it said "EN EL ZOOLOGICO DEL ALTIPLANO EN APETATITLAN TLAXCALA, MEXICO. SE LOGRO LA REPRODUCCION ENTRE UN TIGRE SIBERIANO MACHO Y UNA HEMBRA JAGUAR DE LA SELVA DEL SUR DE MEXICO EN CHIAPAS, EL ESPECIMEN ESTA EN EXHIBICION EN SU ESTANCIA QUE CONSTA DE 400 M2 LO NOMBRARON MICKEY ACTUALMENTE TIENE 2 AÑOS Y PESA 180 KG."

    The English version of Wikipedia added it to their page in a more-or-less direct translation on 17 June 2009. ("At the Apetatitlan Zoo (Tlaxcala, México) the crossbreeding of male siberian tiger and a female jaguar from the southern Chiapas jungle produced a male Tiguar named Mickey. The specimen is in exhibition at a 400 m2 habitat and as of June 2009, is two years old and weighs 180 kg.").
    The current page says "At the Altiplano Zoo in the city of San Pablo Apetatlan (near Tlaxcala, México), the crossbreeding of a male Siberian tiger and a female jaguar from the southern Chiapas jungle produced a male tiguar named Mickey. Mickey is on exhibition at a 400 m2 habitat and as of June 2009, is two years old and weighs 180 kg (397 lb)."

    Someone (cough...Shuker...cough) obviously got confused along the way and the story on some sites became that the cat was born in June 2009, whereas if the cat ever existed it would have been born around late 2006/early 2007. I personally don't believe the cat ever did exist, I think someone just added a story to Spanish Wikipedia and it took off from there.