Peculiar hybrid animals appear in folklores and morphed images. Most of these are not only odd, but potentially ‘abnormal’. What if someone told you some of them actually exist? Freaky, but true. Advances in genetic engineering and cloning have made hybrid animals a reality. In such cases, the father gives the offspring the first half of his species’ name and the mother the second half of hers.
Here is a list of 15 real hybrid animals that’ll surprise you:
The Beefalo, also called the Cattalo is a hybrid between domestic cattle and the American buffalo.
While accidental cross-breeds were noticed as long back as 1749 in North America, Cows and Bisons were first intentionally crossbred in the mid-19th century. In 1880, the first attempt to crossbreed bison and cattle was done by Colonel Samuel Bedson, the Warden of Stoney Mountain Penitentiary, Winnipeg.
Beefalos usually represent cattle in genetics and looks. A full Beefalo usually has three-eighths (37.5%) of a bison’s genetics. The hybrid animal is said to be much better than its parent species. They produce more milk than the Buffalo, but are just as strong.(source)
A Leopon is a hybrid between a male Leopard and a Lioness. They are larger than Leopards, but have a Lion’s head, and a Leopard’s body. The first documented Leopon was bred at Kolhapur, India in 1910.
Leopons have been bred in zoos across Japan, Germany, and Italy. The most successful program was at Koshien Hanshin Park in Nishinomiya City, Japan where a Lioness called Sonoko was mated to a Leopard called Kaneo. Two Leopons were born in 1959, and 3 more in 1962. They were sterile. However, later leopons have mated successfully. This cross-breeding was popular with the public, but was widely criticized in zoological and animal welfare circles.(source)
13. Grolar Bear
A Grolar bear, also known as Polizzly or Nanulak is a rare hybrid animal found in the wild, and is also bred in captivity. The presence of this hybrid was first confirmed back in 2006 after the DNA testing of a bizarre-looking bear that was shot near Sachs Harbour, on Banks Island in Canada.
Grizzlies are sub-species of the brown bear. They tend to live and breed on land whereas; the average Polar bear prefers water and ice, and usually breeds on ice.(source)
A wholphin is an extremely rare hybrid animal born from mating of a female Dolphin and a male false Killer Whale.
The first recorded Wholphin was born in a Tokyo SeaWorld. However, it died after just 200 days. While they have been reported to exist in the wild, only one called Kekaimalu is currently alive in captivity.
Kekaimalu conceived and gave birth at a tender age. However, the first calf died in a mere few days and the second calf Pohaikealoha died at age 9. On December, 2005 Kekaimalu had her third off-spring Kawili Kai, and they’re currently at Sea Life Park in Hawaii.(source)
A Żubroń is a hybrid of domestic cattle and the European Bison. The name was chosen officially from entries sent to the Polish weekly magazine Przekrój during a contest in 1969. The animal, however, was first created by Leopold Walicki back in 1847.
First generation Żubroń males are infertile, but females are fertile. They can be crossbred and these crossbreeds are fertile.
After World War I, some scientists even considered replacing domestic cattle with żubrońs as they are stronger and less prone to diseases. Moreover, this animal could be bred with minimum husbandry and no farm infrastructure. However, the idea was dropped to economic problems and inherent risks.(source)