Mankind has not always been known for thinking things through. We are the reason killer bees exist after all. We like to experiment and play around and sometimes the consequences aren’t exactly what we intended. Sometimes though, we get something right. While not all of the hybrid animals on this list can definitely be attributed to human intervention, the majority of them can. From small fluffy animals bred to be house pets to animals of the much, much larger variety, these hybrid animals are well worth knowing getting to know.
10. The Mule
Male Donkey + Female Horse
The mule is probably the most famous hybrid animal in the world although man’s involvement in the development of this awesome animal is debatable. Mules can be different sizes and weights depending on the specific breed of the parent animals. If the mare is a draught horse, for example, the resulting mule offspring will a moderately heavy weight animal. While they’re often used as pack animals, the completely domesticated mule also makes a great companion.
09. The Cheetoh
Bengal Cat + Ocicat
At this point in time, the cheetoh is actually fairly rare. It’s a new breed but it is gaining in popularity thanks to its unique appearance. Unlike male cats of other breeds, the make cheetoh is a very hands on father, often helping the mother care for their kits. The make is often responsible for helping his kits develop social skills with other cats in the household and with their human companions. They’re social animals with few unique health concerns and require minimal maintenance (a brushing once a week or so) making them an ideal pet. Plus, they’re nearly too adorable to believe.
08. The Coydog
Male Coyote + Female Dog
Coydogs are not necessarily a human made hybrid as it is thought that breeding between coyotes and domestic dogs does sometimes happen in the wild. It is incredibly uncommon though and usually such a pairing does in fact require a little human intervention. It is important to note that Coydogs do not make good pets unless they are found at a very young age and raised properly. That requires a huge time investment but given the proper care, a Coydog can, in fact, make a loving and loyal companion.
07. The Grolar Bear
Male Grizzly Bear + Female Polar Bear
We can’t take credit for the Grolar Bear entirely unfortunately. As bad ass as this hybrid is, grizzly bears and polar bears have been known to couple up in the wild although there have only been three confirmed cases at this point. Most of the known Grolar Bears in existence have come into this world in captivity though so I guess we can take at least partial credit for that. Grolar Bears are very similar to their parents, often having physical traits of both the grizzly and the polar bear.
06. The Wolphin
Male Killer Whale + Female Bottlenose Dolphin
Not to be a broken record, but the Wolphin is another example of a hybrid animal we can’t solely take credit for which is probably a good thing. There are currently only two known Wolphins in the world and both were born in captivity. Kekaimalu, the first Wolphin born in captivity, has given birth to three calves but only one, Pohaikealoha, survived. They are still alive and swimming in the Sea Life Park in Hawaii.
05. The Cama
Male Camel + Female Llama
I love the cama. Bred as a pet, the cama is smaller and more friendly than the infamously ill tempered camel. Camas are kept as pets in many parts of the world and are often referred to as terrific companions by their owners. While raising and caring for a cama will mean spending a little extra time and effort ensuring it has what it needs to be healthy and happy, these little guys can make a great pet. Of course it doesn’t hurt that the cuteness factor with the cama is through the roof!
04. The Saarloos Wolfdog
Male German Shepherd + Female Mackenzie Valley Wolf
On average, the Saarloos Wolfdog stands 76 cm tall and can weigh as much as 40 pounds. To put it another way, it’s a really big animal. While it is bred as a pet, it’s very, very important to remember that these are very large, very strong dogs. This isn’t the kind of pet you buy if you’ve never owned a dog before. Experience is needed to make sure you have the time and dedication needed to make sure this dog has everything it needs. They are not prone to attack but they are very strong willed. If you have the experience though (and don’t own other, smaller animals) the wolfdog may well be the ideal companion.
03. The Savannah Cat
Male African Serval + Female Domestic Cat
The Savannah Cat is loyal and affectionate companion that has a temperament similar to that of a dog. I guess you could say the Savannah is a cat for dog lovers – the best of both worlds. It’s striking appearance and markings makes it an appealing pet for cat lovers but its personality is really what earns it so many fans. That dog-like loyalty is appealing and is a trait many people feel is lacking in most breeds of cat.
02. The Zonkey (and variations)
Male Zebra + Female Donkey
I’m sorry, but how can you not fall in love with the zonky? Just look at it! Absolutely adorable. The zonkey has the characteristic black and white stripes its paternal zebra wears but still maintains many of the physical attributes of the maternal donkey. Sometimes this leads to a zonkey that looks like it’s wearing zebra print leg warmers. Although zonkeys can be difficult to train, they’re often every bit as useful as their donkey mothers. We can’t fully take credit for the donkey though. Zebras have been known to procreate with all sorts of other animals including the ass (the zass), the horse (the zorse) and even Shetland ponies (the zetland)
01. The Liger
Male Lion + Tigress
Remember the movie Napoleon Dynamite? If you do, you probably remember this exchange:
Deb: “What are you drawing?”
Napoleon: “A liger.”
Deb: “What’s a liger?”
Napoleon: “It’s pretty much my favorite animal. It’s like a lion and a tiger mixed, bred for it’s skills in magic.”
That is pretty much my favorite quote from the entire movie, mainly because I like to imagine that real ligers are actually bred for their skills in magic. They aren’t, of course, but they’re still incredibly impressive animals. I might have to side with Napoleon here. The liger? Pretty much my favorite animal.