These White tiger facts guide us toward a better understanding of tigers’ physical characteristics, habitat and diet. White Tiger (Panthera) is an inhabitant of Bengal, Bihar, and Assam in India.
These tigers belong to the family of felidae. This tiger is transmuted from the Bengal tiger. These animals are smaller in size in comparison to other tigers.
Most of these species are captive in different parts of the world and a good many number is held in India. One of the good news about white tigers is that the population has been dramatically increasing with the passage of time. The unmistakable appearance of white tigers appeals most of the zoo visitors.
The white tiger is not a subspecies of tiger but rather a mutant variant of the extant tiger. White tigers are too rare in the creature monarch.
These tigers are not a true albino but simply have less dark pigment in its coat. This is called “chinchilla mutation”. It inhabits across the Indian Subcontinent range. These tigers are also called white Bengal tigers and are often sighted in Bengal, Bihar, and Assam, of India.
It is the masked mutant of Bengal tiger. White tigers are seemingly bigger as compared to the original tigers both at birth and at maturity. Currently, there are hundreds of white tigers that are kept in captivity globally, of which almost one hundred are found in India alone. On the positive side, the population of these tigers is increasing.
White Tiger Facts
- White tigers are widely found in the dense jungle, mangrove and swamps.
- These species weigh around 140 – 300 kg (309 – 660 lbs).
- The average lifespan is 10 years in the wild.
- They become fully mature after 3 – 4 years.
- The period of gestation lasts for 103 days.
- Females litter 2 – 3 cubs.
- The length of the white tiger measures around 1.4 – 2.8 meters (41/2 – 9 feet), with the tail measuring 3 – 4 feet (90 – 120 cm).
- The newly-born cubs weigh around 1 kg (2 – 3 pounds).These juveniles begin to hunt after 18 months or so.
- The white tiger showcases unique white coloration which makes it rather more popular in zoos amongst other exotic animals. According to a rough estimate, around 15,000 Bengal tigers result in a white tiger.
- The natural breed of white Bengal tigers is too rare to take place. These tigers are bigger in size as compared to the orange species. They have blue-colored eyes, and their fur is pale in color.
- The mean weight of white tigers measure around 400 – 550 lbs, with the length measuring at 9 – 11 feet.
- The female tigers lay 1 – 6 cubs and these juveniles stay with their mother for about 2 – 2.5 years of age.
- White tigers are not found commonly in the wild; however, in captivity they are available in hundreds of numbers. They are the only tigers that are more readily found and are in greater numbers in captivity than in the wild. There are around hundred white tigers all throughout the India.
- White tigers for the most part are associated with each other. Inbreeding is needed for the recessive gene liable for the white color fact.
- The average lifespan of white tigers is low as compared to the orange cats perhaps due to the mutated genes. Besides, inbreeding depression can be another reason for the short life expectancy.
- There is still a debate among scientists about the white tigers in Siberia and their probability of occurrence of recessive gene in Siberian tigers is low.
- White tigers have similar visionary problems as that of standard orange tigers. Contrary to a belief, white tigers do not have crossed eyes and black striped.
- There is a general belief that white tigers undergo a wide range of birth defects which is not quite right as many white tigers are as healthy and their orange counterparts.
- There is a general belief that white tigers rely more on caretakers because of mental disorders which is incorrect. No scientific evidence has been proposed in favor of this idea. Variation in tiger’s behavior is expected and normal and it arises out of their own personality traits.
- These tigers tend to hunt at night and spend the whole day in their den while sleeping. White tigers are solitary animals.
Read More: Tiger Facts For Kids
Feeding Ecology and Diet
- Because of their carnivorous nature white tigers predominantly feed on medium or large sized animals such as chital, wild boar, nilgai, buffalo, gaur, sambar, and barasingha.
- These animals are also found to prey on pythons, sloth bears, crocodiles, sika deer, Manchurian wapiti, Malayan tapir, moose, roe deer, musk deer, saiga antelope, Caucasian wisent, yak, muntjac, camels, horses and other leopards.
- They also like to eat smaller animals like hares, rabbits, peafowls, fish, and monkeys. Conflicts often arise between tigers and elephants even though elephants do not serve as a gentle prey for white tigers.
- On rare occasion, young elephants or rhinoceros had been preyed by tigers.
- White tigers move towards domestic livestock when the prey is not abundant. These domestic animals include cows, donkeys, cows and dogs.
- Since these tigers have extended their killing to the domestic livestock, they are often seen in confrontation with humans and even some tigers have been reported to hunt down few villagers or local fishermen.
- Unlike other tiger breed, these species are also known to hunt at night because of their nocturnal nature. They are considered to be the solitary hunters and they chase down their prey at a speed of about 49 – 65 km/h (35 – 40 miles/h)though for a short while.
- Different techniques are applied to the different animals, depending solely on the size of them. Larger sized animals like yak or buffaloes are normally attacked at their spinal cord first and then bring down to the ground. White tigers are one of the best swimmers.
Read More: What Do Tigers Eat
Distribution and Habitat
- White tiger facts about its habitat proves the existence of these animals in different parts of the world. These types of tigers usually cover wide area of about 26 – 78 sq. km (10 – 30 sq. miles).
- The territories between male and female are often known to overlap. The range of habitat depends wholly on the extent of food available. Some of these species come across a lot wider areas. These animals are the inhabitants of tundra, south Malaya and Indonesia.
- White tigers are commonly found in the coniferous forests, tropical rain forests, and mangroves. They live at an altitude of about 1,300 meters even though some are also found beyond the height of 2,000 meters.
Read More: Where Do White Tigers Live?
Learn more: White Tiger Facts for Kids
Eye-opening Facts about White tiger
Does Breeding White Tigers have no Conservation Value?
- White tigers are one of the rare cats in the wild probably due to its less camouflaging ability. The last specimen was thought to kill in 1951 in India.
- White tiger is a figure of illegal inbreeding of orange-colored cats if breeder intends to conserve tigers then perhaps he should focus on keeping orange cats rather than white. “The white tiger controversy among zoos is a small part ethics and a large part economics. Owners of white tigers claims they are popular exhibit animals and increase zoo attendance and revenues as well.” warns Dr. Ron Tilson, one of the famous managers of Tiger Species Survival Plan and also the conservation director of the Minnesota Zoo.
- “The tiger Species Survival Plan holds that this kind of inbreeding which indeed gives rise to white tigers must be condemned because of their mixed ancestry and since it offers no conservation value,” he added. “Some breeders do this in order to facilitate people at zoo since white tigers attract more than the orange ones, but at the cost of tiger’s infertility.” Whoever claims that he’s saving tigers in this fashion, is a liar, he’s actually breeding them for profit.
- Many genetic defects are deemed to be recessive and give rise to disabilities and high mortality rates. “More than eighty percent of white tiger cubs are suffering from this plague of infertility, some may even die, due to this inbreeding which is necessary to cause a white coat.” Dr. Daniel C. Laughlin, a Consultant for Big Cat Rescue.
- Leaving aside dead cubs, those that survive do not seem to be normal as they undergo retinal degeneration, clubbed feet, strabismus (cross eyes), cleft palates, scoliosis, kidney abnormalities, and immune deficiency. This follows that only a small percentage is good enough to perform at zoos but after the great expense. Moreover, some may also face mental impairments especially stress, depression, and other unpredictable behavior.
- Tilson believes that multimillion-dollar-industry of the exotic animal also provokes breeders to commit this act since it falls just below the illegal drug trade in profit making.
Should breeding of white tigers in captivity be banned?
- Inbreeding has led white tigers to extreme suffering and also becomes the cause of a good many number of health problems in white tigers. It also weakens the bloodline within white tiger.
- One of the worst consequences comes in the form of blindness in these tigers. Knowingly breeding white tigers with a belief that it would not cause them any pain is not only malpractice but also stands no value in the modern animal care.
- The worst part of inbreeding is that people do not seem to realize that tiger will soon lose its dignity and remarkable universality which it often speaks, not only this, but also the pride which makes it best among the rest.
- It goes without saying that excessive inbreeding is seemingly a worldwide tragedy. Bengal as well as Siberian tigers are bred in order to increase its size abnormally. If this inbreeding continues, the pure bred of Big Cats won’t be endangered, they will go extinct.
- White tiger is not a gem of nature that’s for sure. Ironically, perhaps white tiger is rather a gem of inhuman act of certain breeders. It would also be correct to say that white tiger is a product of man’s manipulation to promote a million-dollar-industry embracing zoos, parks, circus, and even restaurants.
- Consequently, white tiger cannot be considered as a majestic species, but a genetic mutation arising out of father-son mating, brother-sister mating, or even father-daughter mating, leading to barbaric consequences. They can neither survive in captivity nor in the wild for their mixed characteristic features.
You know what! in order to get on profitable white tiger cub, breeders destroy 30 to 60 cats…
“In short, We must agree that White Tigers are the only species which should go Extinct in near future!” Do you agree or disagree? Join the discussion and Have your say in the comments below.