White Bengal Tiger

White Bengal Tiger

The white Bengal tiger does not constitute a separate species or subspecies of tiger; the white fur is instead caused by a mutation carried by normal orange coloured Bengal tigers. Since the gene for white fur is recessive, a tiger cub must receive the mutation from both its parents in order to be a white Bengal tiger. Since the white Bengal tiger is not a separate species or subspecies, it is not considered endangered, even though the white Bengal tiger is extremely rare in the wild. The white Bengal tiger is not used in normal conservatory breeding programs.

The white Bengal tiger is sometimes referred to as Chinchilla tiger and Ice tiger. It is however not the same thing as a Siberian tiger. The Siberian tiger is a recognized tiger subspecies and the Siberian tigers have orange coats. Some people think that the white Bengal tiger is white since it lives on snow covered mountains where a white fur serves as camouflage. This is not true and the white Bengal tiger occurs even in regions that are snow free year round. In 1951, a white Bengal tiger cub was captured in the Rewa district in India. Rewa is located in central India and large parts of the district are occupied by warm jungle environments. The white Bengal tiger cub from Rewa was given the name Mohan and he eventually became the ancestor to several hundred captive bred white Bengal tigers. When Mohan was captured, three siblings from the same litter were also found, but Mohan was the only white Bengal tiger kitten.

The mutation that causes the white Bengal tiger is very rare. Estimations show that out of 10,000 wild births, only one of the kittens will be a white Bengal tiger. During the last hundred years, no more than a dozen examples of white Bengal tiger have been found in the dense tiger regions of India. The gene that causes the white fur is recessive and two parents carrying the gene are therefore necessary to produce a white Bengal tiger. When two orange parents carry the gene, there is still only a 25 percent chance for each kitten to be a white Bengal tiger.

The white Bengal tiger is sometimes called albino tiger, but this is not a proper name since the white Bengal tiger have brown or black stripes. Brown stripes indicate that the white Bengal tiger also have some Siberian tiger ancestry. The black or brown stripes can sometimes be really pale. Sightings of presumed albino tigers have always turned out to be white Bengal tigers with unusually pale stripes. A true albino animal could never display any stripes, since the striping requires pigment. There are not reports of true albino Bengal tigers neither from the wild nor from zoos.

The white Bengal tiger is not included in normal conservational breeding programs. It does however play a vital role in general tiger conservation since people tend to be fascinated by the white Bengal tiger. The attention grabbing white Bengal tiger can help putting the spotlight on all tigers and make people more willing to participate in tiger conservational efforts.

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
White 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 Siberian Tigers
Baby White Tigers


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