Jaglion – a lion, jaguar hybrid

The existence of the jaglion is, for me, an example of human arrogance and self-indulgence. This exotic big cat hybrid should not exist. If you watch the video (it cannot be embedded on this page) you will hear a zookeeper speaking inanely to a captive jaglion. The whole thing depresses me personally. The enclosure looks ridiculously small and uncomfortable. There’s nothing pleasant about it but people are fascinated with exotic cats and the jaglion is certainly that being a lion/jaguar hybrid.

Update — Below the large picture is another, also supposedly Jahzara. I have added this later. This picture is more authentic in my view. The cat looks more like an lion/jaguar hybrid looking at the face and the markings are different. This is a different cat. This is the genuine article in my opinion.

Melanistic Jaglion
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

Melanistic Jaglion? No I don’t think so. I believe this to be a melanistic jaguar on reflection. Update: I was correct. This cat is not a jaglion (see comments)


Jahzara – a female Jaglion. Photo copyright: bearcreeksanctuary.com

Useful links
Anxiety - reduce it
FULL Maine Coon guide - lots of pages
Children and cats - important

The jaglion is a cross breed of a male jaguar and a female lion. I confess to say that until today I had not heard of them perhaps partly because I dislike this sort of breeding; creating exotic wild cats to titillate the viewing public.

They are very rare and there are two, perhaps the only two in the world in Ontario at Canada’s Bear Creek Wildlife Sanctuary (update: there may be more than two but not many more).

Tsunami - a male jaglion

Tsunami – a male jaglion

Their names are Jahzara and Tsunami. The picture on this page of Jahzara shows us that she is a melanistic Jaguar hybrid. I don’t know but I presume that the male Jaguar father was melanistic and the female lion was an ordinary coloured lion. His appearance is of a jaguar. I don’t see any lion in him as it happens.

Sarah Hartwell is able to add some details. She mentions the two jaglions at Bear Creek Wildlife Sanctuary. They were born on April 9, 2006. They were the result of an accidental mating which means they were not deliberately bred although the parents were not neutered and they lived together.

We are told from my source (but I have now have doubts) that the cat that you see in the picture on this page is the result of a mating between a black male Jaguar, Diablo (as I had guessed) and a lioness whose name was/is Lola. The couple were inseparable because they had been hand-raised together. When separated they became anxious and depressed.

Sarah tells us that female big cat hybrids are frequently fertile. In which case, Jahzara, could in theory be bred back to purebred lions to introduce the gene for melanism (a gene that makes the coat become black or very dark) into the lion species.

Associated: Hybrid cats.

Why not read a blog post on new cat breeds to see some unique domestic cats!

Useful tag. Click to see the articles: Cat behavior

Note: sources for news articles are carefully selected but the news is often not independently verified.

Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 74-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare. If you want to read more click here.

You may also like...

40 Responses

  1. Will says:

    Well I think their cool & intelligent

  2. Carol Brandt says:

    It appears this cat was an accident, but I’m sure some exploitive SOB is trying to create a jaglion for commercial purposes.
    This IS playing God. To be honest, I don’t like most breeding, when shelters are filled with languishing cats and dogs. It is immoral.

  3. Da'Janique says:

    :)How are they made?

  4. somebody says:

    are jaglions man made

  5. GreyMinerva says:

    According to Wikipedia (which is not a 100% fact-checked source, I know), snow leopards show definite signs of interbreeding with lions (or the ancestors of modern lions) in the past, indicating hybrid(s) breeding back into the leopard line. I think we can assume this was not done by humans seeking to profit in some way…

  6. Nicole says:

    Here is a picture of them both – they are just over 11 years old now

    • Michael Broad says:

      Could you please try and upload the photos again as it seems it did not work.

      • Darren Pellichino says:

        I think that there is a great deal of tunnel vision at play when people become opposed to cross breeding. Genetics is an engine that actually runs on hybridization. Traits are developed by organisms and then reintroduced back to populations to drive evolution. That is a keystone for life to adapt to our ever changing world. The human hand of introducing animals to breed their traits to create a new organism is ONLY adding a new set or recipe to the mix. It is not removing the animals old DNA because there are still more individuals that posses the old set of code.

        I truly hope that the norm of science becomes people who can open up their narrow view of what life truly is.

        • Michael Broad says:

          I take your point but this was done for human entertainment. It does not appeal to me.

          • eb says:

            The Jaglions were not intentionally bred for “human entertainment”. Bear Creek does excellent work rehabilitating and re-releasing injured or sick animals into the wild…CHECK YOUR FACTS!

            • Michael Broad says:

              Sorry you are horribly wrong. The jaglion is a human creation for one purpose: entertainment. Don’t shout at me. You’re lucky I published your comment. No more comments for you.

  7. Nicole says:

    I would suggest that you do research to obtain accurate information before writing things that are incorrect.
    – The top picture is NOT Jahzara, although the smaller bottom ones are.
    – The two jaglions at Bear Creek Sanctuary are Jahzara and Tsunami, NOT Susan.
    – Jahzara is a female, NOT male. Tsunami is a male.
    – Hybrid animals including jaglions are NOT fertile, they are almost 100% INFERTILE and cannot reproduce.

    • Michael Broad says:

      Thanks, Nicole For your comment. I appreciate it. I did do research on this as my article indicates but the information that I obtained was obviously rather vague and therefore I had to qualify the article in a way which tells readers that the information was not clear.

      Because of your comment I can now amend the articles slightly to update it.

      As to fertility and infertility, I refer to a lady whose name is Sarah Hartwell who is an expert on these matters and therefore once again I did my research. I refer to females being fertile which is what Sarah Hartwell would have told me. Are you sure that you are correct in saying that females are infertile?

      • Mary says:

        Hi Michael, I just read all the above comments. Our jaglions were not bred intentionally. In fact, we had Lola (mother to jaglions) on birth control for 4 years. She was on birth control at the time she bred. So, yes it was a huge and awkward surprise. If we had in fact bred these two species with intent, we would have published it. They were not bred for publicity or for financial reasons. We had them spayed and neutered so there was no chance of any breeding between them. We also did neuter Tsunami more importantly so he would not grow a mane. These two were brought into this world without our assistance. They are both healthy and have a great temperament. They are not included in our tours. So again, we are not putting them on display as some would say. Please feel free to ask any questions you wish. I will gladly answer them if they warrant one. I do have a question for you. Where did you do your research on these jaglions?

  8. Alan says:

    Probably could never live in the wild, this cross has taken something away from both cats, Lions hunt on the wide open Savannah, Jaguars hunt in the Jungle. Where on earth could it live? And physically now not suited to either place. One confused Kitty I suspect.

  9. Debra says:

    Any thoughts on the cloning that has been done on some of the small wild cats? I wonder about the results. Did they survive? If so, how is their health? Anyone know?

    • Michael Broad says:

      Hi Debra. I have not heard about the success rates of cloning wild cats. You have given me a thought though. I should do a page on this provided I can find enough information on the subject.

  10. Susan Gort says:

    Too bad the human species can’t keep its paws to itself. It’s not nice to try and fool Mother Nature! The big cats are beautiful the way they are.

    • Michael Broad says:

      Yep. I totally agree. The human species likes to play around with nature. Nature always bites back.

  11. So right Michael_
    it’s not nice to fool with “Mother Nature”

    Eva says-

  12. According to my research; whenever man crosses a breed, genetic malformations do occur. This trend will inevitably serve to wipe out any original pure blood lines.

    However gorgeous they may look, the end result is a no win deal breaker.

    Eva say’s

  13. Alan says:

    I don’t see any trace of Lion either, just looks like a black Jaguar to me.

    • M E King says:

      The claims are worthless unless backed up by DNA. Someone is always claiming to have domestic/bobcat crosses. DNA always rules it out. Hybrids don’t always take on characteristics 50/50. It’s a genetic crap shoot when someone does do it.

      • Michael Broad says:

        Yes, it would nice to see some hard evidence. Also the online media does peddle a lot of fraudulent stuff which can’t be trusted. So I am not so sure about this cat anymore 😉

        • M E King says:

          Genetically they serve no purpose. In this case the goal post hasn’t moved it’s shifted. Captive breeding no longer exists so that specimens don’t have to be captured from the wild. Breeding is focused on keeping a genetically diverse healthy population that might someday be released back into the wild if a species reaches the brink of extinction.
          It’s right up there with creating designer breeds of dogs and cats.

    • Michael Broad says:

      Yes, that’s what I thought. I am wondering if this is a fraud. Maybe we have the wrong picture 😉

      • Hi Michael,
        This is Mary, owner of Bear Creek Exotic Wildlife Sanctuary Inc.
        We often search the internet for photos used from our website that are copyright. The photos you have of Jahzara are copyright. Please remove them from your blogs.
        As for their story, it is on our website. They were not intentionally bred for either publicity or profit. We never publicized their arrival but did put them on our website. We have had many offers for profit but have chosen not to do so. They are both very healthy and have been spayed and neutered to not procreate. So if you have questions that cannot be answered from their story on our website, please feel free to ask.
        But again, please do remove the photos from your blog. Thank you. Mary

        • Michael Broad says:

          Mary, thanks for visiting and commenting. Would you like to reconsider your request? I am happy to make a small payment or publicise in a positive way your website and organisation. That would be far more positive than removing the photo. If I remove the photos I will be upset slightly. Also photos of Jahzara are all over Pinterest. They are everywhere (search on Pinterest for ‘jaglion’). What are you going to do about those? And what about all the other sites and Google Images? They are all over Google Images as well? These pictures are on very many of websites. Copyright on the internet is dead. Pinterest and Google have seen to that. Would you like to reconsider?

  14. M E King says:

    Exhibition species. While hybrids do occur in nature there usually have to be extreme circumstances.
    Line breeding is necessary to preserve the LOOK. This is also how the defects become set in. It’s also worth mentioning that these frankencats are not something true conservationists would ever indulge in unless there were NO viable specimens of one of the animals left.
    I might also mention that with the use of AI who knows what these kooks will make for their own personal visions. While the species has to be compatible most will not mate naturally.

  1. February 7, 2017

    […] Image by pictures-of-cats […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *