The white tiger
Off-white coat and... blue eyes
The “tiger” species is divided into 9 subspecies, 3 of which are already extinct (Caspian, Java and Bali Tigers). The 6 others are all in great danger of extinction because of hunting, poaching and their vanishing habitat. Numbering 100,000 in 1900, there currently remain no more than 3,500 in the wild.
The Bengal Tiger measures 2m50 to 3 m and weighs in average 225 kg for the male and 135 kg for the female. It hunts deer, wild boar and even buffalo, lying in wait, especially at dusk, in a huge territory – of up to 100 km2 – of forests, savannahs and marshes.
The Bengal Tiger’s coat is normally orange with black stripes. However, following a genetic mutation (leucism), some of them, very rare in the wild, have a white coat broken with black or brown stripes… and blue eyes! Most white tigers therefore are bred in zoological gardens, where this mutation is being maintained through selected reproduction.
Two white tigers
Two white tigers live in the Jardin des Mondes. They are a brother (Mumbai) and a sister (Sanka).
An “endangered” species
- Name: White tiger
- Latin name: Panthera tigris mut.
- Origin: India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Burma
- IUCN status: Endangered (Panthera tigris)
- Cites: Appendix I