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when was the white tiger discovered
What is the origin of the white tiger?
All white tigers are a colour variation of Bengal tigers. They are not a separate sub-species of the Bengal tiger. White tigers are only born to parents that both carry the recessive gene for white colouring.
The white tiger origin was recorded in India from 1556 to 1605 AD.
The first documented case of a white tiger being captured was in 1915.
He was caught by the local maharaja who kept the tiger till its death. The first mutant white cub is believed to be the one trapped by the Maharaja of Rewa, who found it orphaned in the jungle in 1951.
There are only around 200 white tigers left in the world, according to the Indian Tiger Welfare Society.
What do white tigers eat
Their diet consists of large carnivores such as deer, wild boar, cattle and goat. Although, when white tigers are in zoos or sanctuaries they are usually fed chicken, horse meat, and sometimes kangaroo meat too. Did you know that when white tigers are in the wild they can run up to 60 miles per hour?
White tiger species
White tigers are a rare subspecies, and it’s believed that a white tiger hasn’t been seen in the wild for around 50 years, making them endangered. When they are in the wild they would be found throughout India. Although, today you’re more likely to find a white tiger in a zoo or sanctuary around the world. The white tiger originates from Bengal tigers but has a unique difference of colour.
These tigers are also commonly referred to as white Bengal tigers, very alike to a Bengal tiger, but lacking the orange hue. The whiteness to their fur is achieved by a genetic defect which results in white tigers losing a pigment called pheomelanin,
which gives Bengal tigers the orange colour in their fur. The lack of this pigment gives white tigers the unusual and unique white colour.
Their survival in the wild has become a battle due to trophy hunting and capture for the expense of exotic wildlife trade.
Another factor is how rare the white tiger is – the colouration is dependent on a defective, recessive gene which is passed to them from their parents. For example, another white tiger can only be created if both parents carry the recessive gene to achieve white colouration.
Are white tigers extinct
Quick White tiger facts
Sightings of the white tiger date back to the 15th century.
A white tiger is only born when the parents both hold the recessive gene
A baby white tiger is called a cub.
Young cubs are born blind and weigh around two to three pounds.
At six to eight weeks a young cub would follow their mother and feed on their hunt.
Their most distinctive feature is their white fur and striking blue eyes.
The gestation period lasts around 103 days.
They have no natural predators other than humans.
Their top speed is around 60 miles per hour!
A white tiger reaches maturity at age three to four years of age.
They can weigh anything between 309 pounds to 660 pounds – that’s the equivalent of around 44,844 tea bags!
Female white tigers are smaller than males.
A white tiger’s habitat would consist of jungle environments and mangrove swamps.
White tigers are believed to consume around 40 pounds from one meal – the equivalent of 907 lots of sushi! They would then not eat for two to three days.
The last white tiger captured from the wild was in May during the 1950s.
It’s believed from then every white tiger has been bred from this one.
The first sighting of a white tiger in India is believed to be in 1561 in Gwalior, India.
A white tiger’s eyes aren’t always blue they can also be green or amber.
White tigers grow much faster and are bigger than Bengal tigers – they’re considered fully grown at aged two to three years.
When female tigers reach the age of three they’re ready to become mothers.
White tigers are bigger than Bengal’s at birth and throughout adulthood.
Why are white tigers endangered?
Trophy hunting and habitat loss are just a few examples of why the white tiger has become endangered, and sadly led to extinction in the wild. It’s believed the last surviving white tiger was sadly killed in the 1950s leaving behind any trace of the white tiger remaining in the wild. Today the only surviving white tiger are in zoos or sanctuaries.
The white tigers that remain today are thanks to a solitary male tiger that was captured in 1951. Efforts to restore the white tiger were done so by deliberately interbreeding to maintain the tiger’s white colouration.
This is the only way to make sure the white tiger succeeds, but it does come with health complications. As scientists identified these problems with interbreeding, work has begun to try and cross-breed pairs of Bengal tigers, with each one holding the gene that creates the white tiger.
It’s believed the probability rate would be a 25 per cent chance of a pregnancy resulting in a white tiger. This way will help increase the population of white tigers more healthily.
What is the white tiger population today?
The current population is currently around 200, with them all remaining in captivity.
The white tiger is listed as endangered under ICUN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) and is severely threatened, therefore the only remaining species are in captivity. The white tiger isn’t the only tiger endangered as Records show that around 100,000 tigers were found in Asia during the beginning of the 1900s – today is a different story with no more than 8,000 remaining in the wild. It’s estimated that 2,000 of this number are Bengal tigers, white tigers are not included as they remain in captivity.
White tigers habitat
They are found in a variety of habitats including tropical forests, mangrove swamps and moist jungles that generally support dense vegetation and have a good source of fresh water.