You might have seen a white tiger in a zoo or in an exhibition. White tigers are very beautiful and majestic creatures. Their white coat with black stripes makes them stand out from any big cats.
They are also called bleached tigers or snow tigers because of their appearance, making them stand out from their orange-colored peers.
But what exactly is a white tiger? is it an albino tiger?. Some people claim that white tigers are a special and separate subspecies of tiger that’s endangered and close to extinction. And some also say that they are albinos.
White Tigers Are Not Albinos!
The thing is white tigers are indeed rare, but they’re not a separate subspecies and they’re not albinos. White tigers are simply Bengal tigers. They are born when two Bengal tigers that carry a recessive gene controlling coat color are bred together. White tigers are simply Bengal tigers with white fur.
White tigers alive today were purposefully bred by zoos and private collectors for money and entertainment.
This is done by retaining the recessive gene, zoos and breeders must continually inbreed father to daughter, father to granddaughter, and so on to obtain white tigers.
They’re not a separate rare subspecies of tigers. They’re produced by mutant genes that’s been artificially selected through inbreeding to essentially produce man-made tigers for entertainment.
It’s been said the entire captive white tiger population originated from one single white tiger and has been inbred ever since. That one single tiger was a tiger named Mohan. Way back in 1951, the Maharaja of Rewa, India found Mohan, a white tiger cub, with his orange mother and siblings.
They shot and killed the orange cats but they captured Mohan for his unique coloration and to use him for breeding. First, Mohan was bred back to an unrelated orange female, producing all orange cubs. Then, they bred Mohan to his daughter, and the first captive white litter was born. All white tigers that exist today are descendants of Mohan and his daughter.
In 1958, it is believed that hunters shot and killed the last recorded natural white tiger found in India.
So no natural white tigers exist now according to the theory all white tigers are produced by breeders in captivity. If you don’t believe it, then hear this: Roughly 1 out of 10,000 tigers are born with this rare genetic mutation, called leucism.
Leucism causes the tiger to lose pigmentation in its skin and fur. With only around fewer thousand tigers currently left in the wild, it is doubtful that one will ever be born naturally again.
Specifically, researchers have discovered that white tigers are caused by a single gene mutation in the protein known as SLC45A2. White tigers lack the pigment called pheomelanin, which is found in Bengal tigers with orange fur.
So it’s fair to say that no naturally occurring white tigers exist in the wild, and if one is born then it will not survive. Because having a white coat is a disadvantage to hunting, camouflage, and protection from danger and poachers.
And also white tigers have a lot of health disadvantages. Inbreeding causes many genetic problems. These tigers tend to have difficulty processing visual stimulation, problems with the way their brains control their eyes, and trouble understanding spatial relationships.
So many are cross-eyed in one or both eyes from the birth itself. Kidney problems, cleft palates, club feet, spinal deformities, and shortened tendons.
In short white tigers should not be bred artificially. For years, breeders and exhibitors have been using the excuse that white tigers are an endangered species so they need to keep breeding them. This is completely false.
And also only a few are born perfect and others are imperfects are disposed of by the breeders. Because no one will buy them or will pay money for watching them.
The truth is white tigers may have existed in nature naturally once, but now they are just bred for entertainment and money.