I made a friendly wager with Faye the other day regarding the existence of an animal called liger. I’ve never heard of such a creature in my entire life! Faye swears it exists and that she personally saw it with her own eyes in Korea and even had her photo taken with it! I tend to be rather skeptical about her “facts” since…well, let’s just say that she’s fond of getting them from dubious sources. This is the same person who told me frequent sex will damage my kidneys coz a Chinese medicinal practitioner told her so.
Personally, I think that’s just a convenient excuse she uses (the equivalent of a headache) so I tend to take the fountain of questionable facts she shares with a fistful of sodium. She told me she had her photo taken with this “liger” creature during a tour of Korea and the tour guide told her it’s the result of a lion and tiger mating. The name is supposed to be a contraction of the two parent animals. She even took a photo with it!
I don’t think she made this up, but she can be a little too trusting at times. I said the tour guide probably told her that to make the trip more interesting and shared an anecdote about the time I went to KL when I was really young. We were sitting beside a large tour group of Caucasians and the tour guide told them that the dish on the table is tiger meat.
The tourists took it all in hook, line and sinker and was overheard commenting about how “different” it tastes. The proprietor, who had no lost love for the wayward tour operator, whispered to my dad that the dish is actually a mixture of deer meat (common over here) and wild boar (also a common meat). I strongly believe something similar to the tiger meat fiasco happened to Faye in Korea – the tour guide told them that a regular lion with perhaps less than usual features is the offspring of two different wild cats.
We got into a heated debate after this, with me firmly taking the stance that she was fleeced in Korea and with her nearly foaming at the mouth with irritation at my disbelief. Finally, we reached an agreeable method of dispute resolution:
If ligers exist, I would buy her a box of bird’s nest of her choice (not exceeding RM 300)
If this liger thing does not exist, she would be paying for one night’s stay at the resort hotel we’re planning to go to (dollar value RM 230++)
That being said, the conditions that I put forth was that it MUST be from a reputable source, with citations and references to respectable studies. No two bit website from Korea with a Photoshop image or stuff like that.
I fired up the browser to Google and typed “liger”.
I was extremely sure that I would win this bet since I consider myself well read and I’ve never heard of such an unusual animal. I was even thinking about whether to bring red wine or single malt to the beach resort!
Faye didn’t even hover over my shoulder. She just watched the expression on my face as I expelled a rather rude word in an excessive volume while incredulously staring at the search results.
One of the first results was from Wikipedia, and I didn’t really need to read the other search results. I knew I had lost the bet. From Wikipedia:
The Liger is a hybrid cross between a male lion and a female tiger.
…and it says there’s even such a thing as a tigon too, which is the result of a male tiger and a female lion.