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White tigers are not a separate subspecies. They’re not Royal White Tigers. They’re not Snow Tigers. They’re not albinos. They’re simply tigers that are born with white fur. White fur is a very rare genetic mutation. It occurs in the wild possibly in as few as 1 in 10,000 wild tiger births. Normal tiger behavior in the wild prevents the kind of inbreeding that would be necessary to produce white cubs. Captive inbreeding of white tigers results in high neonatal mortality rates, typically exceeding 80%. Many tigers must be inbred multiple times to get the one perfect white tiger exhibitors like to market to the public. Where do those that aren’t “perfect” go? The average number of cubs born to get one healthy white tiger cub exhibitors want is 1 in 30. The other 29 cubs can typically be born deformed, or they’re considered the wrong color and euthanized, or they die shortly after birth due to genetic defects. Since the last known wild white tiger was shot dead in 1958, it’s the already inbred captive population we see today that’s being used for further breeding-for-profit. White tiger cubs were once being sold for upwards of $50,000 each. Now that breeders have produced so many, the price has dropped drastically and they’re no longer as valuable in the wildlife trade.

5 Comments

Anonymous Guest (IP: 172.69.63.68)

Cruz 12 Oct 2019

Beautiful work

Artist Reply: thanks

Linda Hammar-Del Favero 03 Jul 2019

I always thought they were Siberian tigers at home in areas with lots of snow so they blend in. I like the colored pencil with watercolor, very striking. Sad that man likes to manipulate genetics for profit.

Artist Reply: I agree and thank you

Brenda Loveless 03 Jul 2019

Beautiful work, sad history.

Artist Reply: I thought so too, thanks

Joanie Holliday 03 Jul 2019

OH, HOW GORGEOUS

Artist Reply: thank you

Mark Peterson 03 Jul 2019

Very nice work Barbara ~

Artist Reply: thanks, I appreciate that