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!
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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.