In an age of shameless photoshopping it’s hard to know what is real on the internet anymore, but we kid you not, guys, here are 20 animal hybrids that actually exist.
The first of a number of equine hybrids that are known as Zebroids, the zorse is the result of cross-breeding between a male zebra and a female horse. They look more like a horse than a zebra but have the zebra’s iconic stripes.
The P Grizzle, Pizzly bear or Grolar bear is a rare hybrid that has occurred both in captivity and the wild. One theory about the occurrence of these hybrids is that polar bears have been driven southward by the melting of the ice cap, bringing them into closer contact with grizzly bears.
The savannah is a stunning breed, crossing a domestic cat and the serval, a medium-sized, large-eared wild African cat. They have many exotic characteristics, including a spotty patterned coat, long legs, a slender neck and “tear-streak” markings that run from the corner of the eyes down the side of the nose to the whiskers, much like that of a cheetah.
The mule is a hybrid between a male donkey and a female horse. They are a successful hybrid that are often considered to be more patient, sure-footed and to have a longer life expectancy than horses, whilst also being faster and more intelligent than donkeys.
The Bengal is a domestic cat breed (yes, you can have one!) that was developed to look like exotic jungle cats such as leopards and ocelots. Bengal cats are generally a bright orange to light brown colour, although pale or off-white ‘snow’ Bengal’s also exist.
The Liger is the result of breeding a male lion with a tigress. Ligers only exist in captivity as lions and tigers to not live in the same habitats in the wild. They share characteristics with both their parents; they enjoy swimming like tigers but are sociable like lions.
The Dzo is the hybrid between a yak and a cow. They are larger and stronger than the yak and are often used as pack animals.
The Cama is an animal hybrid between a male camel and a female llama. The breeding of these two animals can only occur via artificial insemination. The first cama was born in 1998 and as of April 2008, five cama’s have been produced.
The coydog is a rare hybrid between a domestic dog and a coyote. The animal has been deliberately bred, specifically to create a breed that was resistant, loyal but temperamental and a good guardian. The hybrid has also been known to occur in the wild.
A wholphin is a rare hybrid between a female bottlenose dolphin and a male false killer whale. The first recorded wholphin was born in a Tokyo SeaWorld. Although they have been reported to exist in the wild, only one is currently in captivity at Sea Life Park in Hawaii.
A geep or shoat is the hybrid between a goat and a sheep. Although the animals seem similar there is a genetic difference between the two species that makes the hybrid very rare.
A jaglion is the hybrid between a male jaguar and a female lion. It is one of five possible hybrids between the panthera genus. It has the lion’s background colour, brown, jaguar-like rosettes and the powerful build of the jaguar.
A hinny is the offspring of a male horse and a female donkey. On average, hinnies are smaller than mules (the offspring of a male donkey and female horse). The head of a hinny resembles that of a horse.
A zetland is a rare but extremely specific hybrid between a zebra and a Shetland pony.
The tigon is a result of breeding a male tiger with a female lion. They can exhibit visible characteristics from both parents, they can retain spots from the mother or stripes from the father. They typically retain the ruff of a tiger instead of a lion’s mane.
Beefalo, or cattalo are the offspring of domestic cattle with the American buffalo. Although this breed can occur naturally, they have been intentionally crossbred to combine the characteristics of both animals for beef production.
The leopon, a hybrid between a male leopard and a lioness. They typically have a head with lion characteristics with a spotty coat. Although many hybrids are infertile, the leopon has successfully fathered cubs with liguars (hybrids between a male lion and a female jaguar). The resulting animal is called a leoliguar.
Breeding between domestic dogs and gray wolves have occurred in the wild for centuries. They are genetically very similar and have been found all over the world. The breeding program that created the German Shepard included wolfdogs.
The mulard is a hybrid between a domestic Pekin duck and a Muscovy duck. This is an unusual example of crossbreeding because it is a hybrid not between different species, but between different genera. The mulard is commercially produced on farms for meat and foie gras.