Friday, September 7, 2012

White Tigers, Cruel Man Made Mutants

Did you know that there are no wild white tigers?  Although zoos often refer to white tigers as Royal White Bengal Tigers, this is not actually a species of tiger.  The white tigers you see on display in zoos today are not even purebreds, they are crosses between Siberian Tigers and Bengal Tigers.  They are also greatly inbred, the gene for white is recessive so white tigers are often created by breeding father to daughter, mother to son, and brother to sister. 

As with most inbred animals there are always more genetic health problems.  The gene that makes them white is linked to eye problems.  White tigers always have poor vision, making them more dependent on their handler.  In some cases this is easy to see as they may be cross eyed, in other cases the problem is in regards to how their eyes are wired to their brain.   Some tiger trainers prefer white tigers because their poor vision makes them easier to train, they are more dependent on their handler than a tiger with normal health vision.

photo source

White tigers are often born with spinal deformities, cleft pallets (a mouth deformity), and organ problems.  It is not uncommon for them to die shortly after birth.

Although not all zoos in the United States are members of the American Zoological Association (AZA), this group passed a ban in 2011 prohibiting members from breeding white tigers.

Although I realize many of you might want to see these beautiful animals it is best to not support the zoos that have white tigers.  There is no ethical reason for breeding them.  In fact many of the people who try to breed white tigers "dispose" of the tiger cubs born with normal orange colored fur.  The only reason they breed white tigers is for greed, vanity, and profit.  It must be stopped.

If you see white tigers in your local zoo be sure to express your displeasure with the intentional breeding programs that some zoos have adopted to make more of these sickly animals.

Further Reading on White Tigers

Big Cat Rescue - White Tigers


2 comments:

  1. interesting post. It would be great if you can provide more details about it. Thanks you
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  2. Brenda, I agree with you completely. Great post.

    ReplyDelete