White Siberian Tigers

White Siberian Tigers

White tigers do not comprise a particular species; instead they are mutant forms of the existing orange tiger variants. White tigers are therefore not considered endangered, even though they are extremely rare in the wild. A vast majority of the existing white tigers have been selectively bred in captivity. 

The White Siberian Tiger is a very rare creature, and some scientists claim that it actually doesn’t exist at all. According to this theory, the gene for white coat does not occur in the pure Siberian Tiger. White Siberian Tigers are instead the result of Siberian Tigers mating with Bengal Tigers carrying the gene for white coating. Occasional reports of white tigers in the Siberian Tiger region do however occur, but none of them have been scientifically proven. Since such a large part of the Siberian Tiger population has been wiped out, it is possible that any genes for white coating disappeared with these individuals and that the remaining Siberian Tigers do not carry this gene. The gene for white coating is very rare in all the different tiger subspecies and a major decrease of a population can therefore lead to the complete eradication of uncommon genes from the gene pool.

White Tigers are sometimes called albino tigers, but this is not true. A true albino tiger would lack all forms of pigmentation and would therefore be stripe less. A White Siberian Tiger, as well as a White Bengal Tiger, has a creamy white coat decorated with black or brown stripes. Pure Siberian Tigers have brown stripes, but since White Siberian Tigers usually are a combination of Bengal and Siberian parents, they can have black stripes. The eyes of White Tigers are bright blue and the nose is pink.

One of the most famous White Siberian Tigers is the result of mixed Siberian and Bengal parentage. His name is Taj and he was born at the Henry Doorly Zoo in 1984. When he was two years old he moved to the National Zoo (Smithsonian Institution). Since Taj is a hybrid and has Siberian as well as Bengal heritage he can not be included in the Tiger breeding programs.

Two Siberian Tiger brothers born at the Como Zoo are suspected to have been carrier of the white coat gene. They were pure bred Siberian Tigers hailing from wild caught Siberian Tigers. These two brothers were bred with pure Siberian Tigers as well as with Bengal Tigers, and their pure Siberian offspring could therefore theoretically produce a White Siberian Tiger in the future, if the suspicion of the brothers carrying the white gene is true.  The gene for white coat is however recessive, which means that the gene must be found in both parents to produce a White Siberian Tiger.

White tigers are the result of a double recessive allele in the genetic code. This combination is extremely rare and in the wild only one in 10,000 births would result in a White tiger. During the last century, less than a dozen White Bengal Tigers have been spotted in India. The captive White Tigers that are found in zoos all over the world all hail from a male White Tiger that was captured in central India in 1951. He was called Mohan and he had been captured by Maharaja Shri Martand Singh as a cub.

Even though White Siberian Tigers, and other White Tigers, are not used in the traditional conservation programs they are still valuable for conservational purposes. Due to their striking appearance, they attract a lot of attention. Hopefully, the White Siberian Tigers and White Bengal Tigers can increase the overall awareness about tigers and make people interested in the tiger conservation programs.

More info on big and small wild cats:

Bengal Tigers
White Bengal Tigers
Royal Bengal Tigers
Bengal Tigers Facts
Jaguar Animal - Jaguar Cats
Black Jaguar (Animal)
Jaguar Animal Facts
Ocelot - Ocelot cat
Ocelot facts & Information
Siberian Tiger
Siberian Tiger Habitat
Siberian Tiger Fact
Siberian Tiger Information
Snow Leopard
Snow Leopard Habitat
Snow Leopard Fact
Endangered Snow Leopard
White Tigers
White Bengal Tigers
White Siberian Tigers
Baby White Tigers


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