Blowing The White Tiger Myth Out Of The Water

How many times have we all heard the rhetoric of “White Tigers are a product of man, produced only by inbreeding” from well meaning nay sayers to big cats in captivity? For me, if I heard it once I have heard or read it a thousand times. It is even found in the Wikipedia online that these tigers are of  “unknown linage and mixed ancestry”  This though set me to thinking that the White Tiger, must have been in the wild

Better yet, I love this mis informed posting on a “rescue” wall  -” The same gene that causes the white coat causes the optic nerve to be wired to the wrong side of the brain, thus all white tigers are cross eyed, even if their eyes look normal.  They also often suffer from club feet, cleft palates, spinal deformities and defective organs.”  NOW LOOK TO THE FOLLOWING PARAGRAPH OR BETTER YET, FOLLOW THE LINK TO THE FULL ARTICLE http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130523143342.htm?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+sciencedaily%2Fplants_animals%2Fendangered_animals+%28ScienceDaily%3A+Plants+%26+Animals+News+–+Endangered+Animals%29

“The white tiger represents part of the natural genetic diversity of the tiger that is worth conserving, but is now seen only in captivity,” says Shu-Jin Luo of China’s Peking University.

Luo, Xiao Xu, Ruiqiang Li, and their colleagues advocate a proper captive management program to maintain a healthy Bengal tiger population including both white and orange tigers. They say it might even be worth considering the reintroduction of white tigers into their wild habitat. (copied from Science Daily) 

Now as in any industry there were unscrupulous breeders that bred purely for that elusive color. In doing so sometimes in breeding can occur. But this is the case in ANY animal endeavor. Inbreeding if utilized PROPERLY and not over abundantly can be beneficial to a point. It  can bring out all the faults of the animal with a vengeance, but it can also bring out the good traits. A good example of proper inbreeding is the case of the double muscled cattle called Belgian Blue and Piedmontese. But as always if anything is done without proper research, proper knowledge then you can and do have ramifications. 

These extreme cases of inbreeding on the white tiger have been the poster children for extremists to tell the world that all white tigers are the product of in breeding. Which is simply not true. 

Lesson for the day? RESEARCH RESEARCH RESEARCH and never stop learning! 

Please consider a donation today. Mystic Jungle is a unique facility that not educates the public on the plight of these wonderful animals in their natural habitat but their status in captivity. We are a 501(c)3 non profit and all donations are tax deductible

 http://mysticjungle.org/donate-online/

Authors notation: The pictures of the white tigers are not owned by Mystic Jungle nor is the copyright to these images. They are merely utilized as examples taken from the internet of the tiger. Any copyright infringement is strictly unintentional and will be removed at the picture owners request. 

 

About the Author
Vera is a sixth generation Native Floridian and born in the small community of Arcadia Florida. She has been a Barrel racer,making it to the NBHA national finals for 3 years in a row. She was the President in the Potowattomie County Humane Society, Shawnee Oklahoma 1983. She is a Veterinary Technician and in the veterinary medical field for over thirty nine years, starting by volunteering in Ft. Lauderdale at Three Oaks Animal Hospital for OJT at the tender age of 13 years. She has had a Life time of working and living with all species of animals, domestic and exotic. She holds an Associates in Animal Science. Vera also is an active member of the FCF (Feline Conservation Federation -http://www.felineconservation.org/ ) and accredited by the FCF as a Wildlife Educator, as well as licensed by the state of Florida as a wildlife rehabilitator

Leave a Reply