It's no secret that in our time wildlife needs protection. But some animals of the Red Book, the white tiger for example, live only in zoos. This predator is not considered a separate species. He is an individual of the Bengal tiger, who has a congenital mutation. This deviation results in a white coat color with black or light brown stripes. In addition, such specimens have blue or green eyes, which for tigers with the usual fur color is completely uncharacteristic.
Bengal white tiger is an animal that is found in Central and Northern India, Burma, Bangladesh and Nepal. It should be noted that "Bengalis" often have red color. But if a white tiger is born in the wild, it will be very difficult for him to survive because he will not be able to hunt successfully with such color, since he is too noticeable for his victims.
There is an opinion that these predators come from Siberia, and their color is camouflaged in the conditions of a snowy winter. But this is misleading, because white tigers have appeared yet in India.
White tiger - an animal that is born with a frequency of one individual per 10 thousand with the usual fur color. Reports of these predators were recorded for several decades, and they came mainly from Bengal, Assam, Bihar, but there were a lot of them from the territory of the former principality of Reva.
The first documented detection of the white tiger dates back to the mid-20th century. Then one of the hunters accidentally found the animal's lair, where among the usual was a white male tiger cub, and took it with him. This man tried to get his offspring of the same color from him, having happened to him with a usual female. The first attempts were unsuccessful, but after some time he still managed to get the second generation of white tigers.
More than half a century has passed since that moment. The population of these animals with an unusual color has greatly increased. It is interesting that all the white tigers kept in captivity in various zoos in the world are descendants of the same individual once found by the hunter in the jungle. From this it follows that all these representatives of the feline tribe are related to each other. Now there are about 130 white tigers kept in captivity, of which about 100 are in India. Unfortunately, the last representative of these animals, once lived in nature, was shot as far back as 1958.
As scientists have shown, the white tiger is an animal that is not an albino. This coat color can be caused only by the presence of recessive genes. This means that a real albino tiger can not have black or brown stripes. If both parents are orange, but they are carriers of certain genes, then the chance that they will have offspring with white fur is about 25%. Now let's take another case. For example, if parents have different colors, that is, one of them is white and the other is orange, then the chance to get a bright offspring increases to 50%.
As mentioned above, albinos also occur among white tigers . These animals have monophonic fur without traditional bands. In organisms of such individuals, the pigment is practically absent, therefore their eyes are red because of the blood vessels visible on them.
White Tiger: description of the animal
Such individuals are often inferior in size to their red relatives, with a slowdown in growth observed in them since childhood. As mentioned earlier, these tigers have white striped fur and blue or green eyes. Sometimes they have different birth defects due to a genetic malfunction. These include clubfoot, poor eyesight and strabismus, problems with the kidneys, as well as a curved neck and spine. But nevertheless to assert, that because of it the infant mortality of white tigers is too high, it is not necessary.
These beautiful and unusual animals are everywhere considered to be extremely valuable specimens. And this applies not only to zoos. Mass culture is also subject to the influence of white tigers, for example, some of the popular music groups have dedicated their songs to them.
I must say that Bengal individuals are not the only ones that have similar gene mutations. Sometimes come across and white Amur tigers with black stripes. But this happens much less often.
The present population of these beautiful animals includes both representatives of Bengal and hybrid Bengal-Amur individuals. So now scientists are lost in conjecture, which of them originally belongs to this recessive white gene.
Despite the fact that from time to time information is received about the white Amur tigers, their very existence in nature has not yet been documented. Many zoologists believe that there is no such mutation in this subspecies. Many zoos contain Amur tigers with white fur, but they are not thoroughbred, as they were actually obtained as a result of crossing with Bengal.
For many centuries, the white tiger (photo of the animal presented in this article) was a creature, enveloped in a halo of mystery. Sometimes these animals instilled fear or became objects of worship. In the Middle Ages in China, their images were applied to the gates of Taoist temples. It was believed that the white tiger - an animal that can protect people from various evil spirits. He represented the guardian of a certain land of the dead, and also symbolized longevity. The Chinese firmly believed that demons should be terrified of such a formidable guard, so they often decorated the graves of their relatives with sculptures in the form of this animal.
In the late 80's. In the last century archeologists, digging up graves in Henan Province, found a drawing of a tiger, whose age is about 6 thousand years. It was a mascot of shells, lying near the body. To date, it is considered the oldest amulet with the image of a white tiger.
In Kyrgyzstan, this animal was said to be able to solve almost any human problems and difficulties. For this, the shamans, dancing the ritual dance and gradually falling into a trance, asked the tiger for help.
But in his homeland, in India, there is still one belief. It says that the person who is lucky enough to see the white tiger with his own eyes will be granted full bliss and enlightenment. It is from this country, where it is perceived as a super-being, but quite material, and not mythical, that it spread throughout the world.