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Tigerhomes - White Tigers - Characteristics and General Info

White tigers
differ from the standard orange and black tigers in appearance only. They are characterized by having a creamy white coat with random black/brown stripes, bright blue eyes, and a pink nose. With the exception of these cosmetic differences, the white tiger remains identical in every aspect to the normal color phased tigers. This striking abnormality is caused by a double recessive allele in the genetic code; and only occurs in one out of approximately 10,000 births (in the wild). Oddly, this rare color mutation is only found in the Bengal tiger subspecies in the wild. In captivity, Siberian and Bengal tigers have interbred creating white hybrid tigers.
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White Tigers
See Tundra (Siberian White Tiger) Live on Cam

In the last 100 years, less then a dozen white tigers have been seen in India. Captive white tigers can all trace their ancestry back to a single white male tiger named Mohan. Maharaja Shri Martand Singh, who found the baby tiger after his mother was killed, captured Mohan back in 1951 in central India.

As soon as Mohan reached sexual maturity, he was bred to a standard female tigress named Begum. Breading was successful, and the pair produced three normal color phased infants. Mohan latter bred with one of his daughters from his second litter with Begum. From this breading, four healthy white cubs were born. Of these cubs, one named Mohini was bred with her uncle or half-brother Sampson. Two of their infants were then sent to the National Zoo here in the United States. Officials from the National Zoo then bred the brother and sister, producing another white tiger named Kesari. These three tigers then formed to core of American white tiger "Founder Stock". Basically, what this means, is that every white tiger seen the United States are descendants of Mohan. All extremely related with very few branches on their family tree!

Although white tigers are extremely beautiful animals, they serve no conservation purpose, with the exception of increasing attendance to zoos. Thus increasing public awareness and education of the plight of all endangered animals. For this reason, the SSP (Species Survival Plan) coordinators for the various surviving subspecies of tiger do not authorize breeding the white tiger in their managed programs. Still this remarkable animal continues to bring hundreds of thousands of fascinated visitors to zoos and educational facilities across the world. Public awareness is the first step in conservation.

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