Lion-tiger hybrid weighing 705lbs is bred in South Carolina 

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A 705lb liger bred in the U.S has been compared to a prehistoric sabre-toothed tiger. 

The five-year-old feline, named Apollo, is the hybrid offspring of a male lion and a female tiger.  

Incredible images of animal conservationists Mike Holston and Kody Antle taking Apollo for a walk in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, put into perspective just how huge he is.  

Some have compared him to the largest species of prehistoric sabre-toothed tiger, which weighed up to 880lb. 

Ligers are distinct from Tigons – whose parents are a female lion and a male tiger – in that they typically grow bigger than either parent species. 

The rare hybrids first emerged in 19th century India and are only found in captivity, as lions and tigers live separately in the wild. There are thought to be fewer than 1,000 in the world.

Even among ligers, Apollo is a rarity. He and his three brothers became the first white ligers in the world when they were born in December 2013 from a white male lion and white female tiger.   

At the time, Apollo was the smallest, with his owners saying he behaved more like a house kitten, purring all the time and always demanding to be stroked. 

Power levels over 9000‼️

A post shared by Kody Antle (@kodyantle) on Apr 18, 2019 at 8:16am PDT

According to Guinness World Records, the record for the the largest living cat belongs to Hercules, an adult male liger also living at Myrtle Beach Safari in South Carolina, who is also Apollo’s uncle. 

Hercules weighs more than 900lbs and is 11 feet tall when standing on his hind legs. His daily meat consumption is around 20lb of beef or chicken each day.

In the video, Mike says: ‘The question is, what would this thing eat? I believe it would eat everything in sight, anything in sight.

‘I think a pack of these things would take down a herd of elephants on the regular for a snack.

‘Such a majestic beast, and it can get up to 40 miles an hour in a couple of steps.’    

Apollo has drawn admiration from Instagram users, with one commenting: ‘Its “the lion king” from the real world’ and another adding ‘What a beautiful creature’. 

However others were less impressed, pointing out that Apollo appeared out of breath from just a short walk around the park. 

‘That animal is an abomination… a human made species that was man made just for fun,’ on comment on YouTube reads. 

‘That animal can’t even breath normally it won’t be able to survive if let loose in the wild… look at the deformity on its chest all that extra skin on its belly’. 

Another person agreed, adding:  ‘Please next time inform about the health risks of cross breeding this species such as premature death, diseases and muscle/bone decay. 

‘The liger is an amazing animal but the public should know that forcefully breeding animals that wouldnt breed normally leads to a whole bunch of problems, like what is happening with certain dog breeds.’

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