Today we will tell you interesting facts about white tigers.
Big cats have very impressive sizes. So, they grow to 1.5 – 2.5 meters in length, and that does not include the length of the tail. Their height in the crest is about 1 meter, and their body weight is 200 kg on average. However, females are less impressive in size, and this is easy to notice. Their weight varies from 100 to 180 kg. Tigers are the largest representatives of cats. Two subspecies of these cats – Amur and Bengal tigers – have especially large sizes. Their record weight is 384 and 388 kg, respectively.
Big cats are also distinguished by their color. It is dominated by orange color, the tone of which depends on the subspecies of the animal. But the inside of the paws and the belly almost always remain white. Though the most famous tiger color is stripes. They are located across the body and can range from black to brown. Usually, one individual has more than a hundred of them, and not all stripes are flat and straight – many of them are split and create beautiful patterns. This is what makes cats so beautiful.
Facts about white tigers
I’m sure you’ve all heard of the existence of the white tiger. But most likely, few people have ever wondered what kind of wildcat it is and whether white tigers are found in the wild or are they, human creatures? Let’s try to figure it out. The existence of the white tiger has been known for a very, very long time. In ancient India, it was believed that meeting a white tiger can bring enlightenment, and killing an unusual animal can bring a series of troubles and death.
In wildlife, white tigers are extremely rare. In the last 60 years, neither scientists nor hunters have ever seen a white tiger in the wild. The last time the white tiger was seen was in 1958. Unfortunately, he was not only seen but also shot.
To this day, only white Bengal tigers (Panthera tigris tigris), who lived and probably still live in the wild, are known to science.
It is believed that the white tiger is born with a probability of 1 in 10,000. This is an inborn mutation, but white tigers are not albinos, which is indicated by the fact that their fur has dark stripes. In the wild, the white tigers were likely perfectly healthy animals, little different from their usual redheaded brothers. But in captivity, the situation is completely different.
Today, between 150 and 200 White Bengal tigers live in captivity, all thanks to one man and one tiger respectively:
It all began in 1951 when during a tiger hunt with the participation of Maharaja Rewa Sri Martand Singh, a tiger’s den with four tigers – three redheads and one white – was discovered. Alas, the red tiger was skinned, and the white tiger was placed in the maharajah palace and given the name Mohan. The tiger quickly became the ruler’s favorite and main pride.
Maharaja hoped that sooner or later this white tiger would have a white tiger, but for several years all kittens were born the most common – redheads. A few years later, the tiger was brought together with its daughter. As a result of inbreeding, the tiger gave birth to several kittens, one of which was white. It is said that no one has seen the maharajah so happy until now. A few more years passed and so many white tigers already lived in the palace that some of them decided to sell it. In the early 1960s, several white tigers found themselves outside India, particularly in the USA and Great Britain. Today, white tigers are found in many zoos around the world, and many live in private nurseries, primarily in the United States.
Thus, absolutely all white tigers are descendants of the Mohan tiger who lived in the Maharaja palace. A white tiger needs a white tiger to be born and a tiger who is the child of a white tiger. Also, a white tiger can be born to two red tigers, provided that both or at least one of them is the child of a white tiger. It follows that all white tigers are the result of incest, which, of course, cannot but affect the offspring. White tigers are smaller than their redheaded brothers and sisters. They often have slanted eyes, curved legs, and a weak spine.
According to observations, white tiger cubs grow faster and larger than ordinary Bengali tigers.
As I have already said, only representatives of the Bengali subspecies can be white, but in zoos white (with black stripes) Amur tigers are often found. But there are no white Amur tigers in the wild. To be more precise, there has been no documented case of the encounter with a white Amur tiger. As for the captive white Amur tigers, this is not a purebred Amur tiger but a mixture of the Amur and Bengal tiger with an inborn white mutation.
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