What is the white tiger? The white tiger is a rare breed of cat native to India, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and Russia.
The white tiger is also known as the snow leopard or clouded leopard.
The white tiger is a subspecies of the Bengal tiger, which is also called the Indian tiger. They are considered endangered because they are threatened by habitat destruction and poaching.
White tigers are very rare. In the world, there are only around 400 white tigers left. The reason the white tiger population has declined is due to habitat destruction and poaching.
This means that the number of white tigers in captivity is much higher than the number of white tigers living in the wild. We look at white tigers in closer detail and tell you everything you need to know about the incredible creature!
What Are White Tigers?
White tigers are a unique breed of cat found in Asia. These big cats have spots on their bodies rather than stripes, whilst their fur ranges from light brown to black with a white underbelly.
White tigers live in the Himalayas and other mountainous regions of South and Southeast Asia.
These magnificent tigers first appeared around 10,000 years ago and lived in India until the 19th century. Then, they moved to China and eventually spread throughout Southeast Asia.
White tigers can grow up to 9 feet long (2.7 meters) and weigh between 200 and 300 kilograms. They have large paws and have broad heads. Their tails are bushy and thick, and they usually have a single tail tuft.
White tigers are one of the most elusive animals on Earth. They spend most of their time in remote areas where it’s difficult for humans to reach them.
White Tiger Characteristics
The white tiger is an extremely beautiful animal. It has a short muzzle, large eyes, a round face, and a pointed nose. Its ears are rounded, and its whiskers are long. The only difference between their face and a Bengal tiger’s face would be the fur color.
White tigers do have blue eyes rather than green or yellow eyes like a normal Bengal tiger, and this makes them look slightly more exotic. They also have a rose-pink nose with pink paw pads.
A white tiger’s black stripes are almost like fingerprints, and no two tigers have the same pattern.
Tigers have striped skin, which means it is not just their fur that is striped, as most people think. What we mean by this is that if you were to shave a white tiger, its coat pattern would still be visible underneath.
A white tiger would struggle to survive in the wild, as it would not be camouflaged enough or as much as a common Bengal tiger.
However, white tigers grow much faster than Bengal tigers and are heavier throughout most of their life. White tigers are also much more muscular and a lot stronger than orange Bengal tigers.
Also, white tigers like to rest. On average, a white tiger can sleep between 16 and 18 hours every day!
Lifecycle Of A White Tiger
A white tiger’s mating season occurs from February through April. During this period, males will fight each other for females. If a male wins over his opponent, he will mate with the female. If the female does not want him, she will reject him or bite him.
The gestation period lasts around 3 months. The cubs are born weighing approximately 4 kg (9 lbs) and measuring 50 cm long.
Male and female white tigers become attracted to one another as a result of their roars and scent.
A white tigress’ sexual maturity age is around 3 to 4 years, and their gestation period lasts for 3.5 months before she gives birth to as many as 5 cubs. The cubs suck on milk for 2 months before weaning.
The cubs stay with their mother until they can hunt for themselves. This is usually around 18 months, but they can stay with their mother until they are two or three years old. By then, they can begin their own life.
Wild animals are typically extremely territorial. White tigers are no different. They claim territory by urinating on it and marking it with their claws, such as on trees. Territories can be as big as 75 square miles and no other tiger can enter.
In captivity, a white tiger’s lifespan is between about 12 and 20 years.
White Tiger Diet
Like the Bengal tiger, the white tiger is a carnivorous animal and loves to eat meat. They rest during the day and often hunt and feed at night.
They prefer to eat deer and boar because these are easier to catch. However, they will eat any type of meat including buffalo, goat, dog, cat, fish, birds, reptiles, and even insects.
Of course, white tigers need to drink water regularly and should be given fresh drinking water daily.
They have incredible eyesight, and their hearing helps them stalk prey in the dark.
Despite the beauty of their fur, their white-and-black color makes it hard for them to hide and camouflage themselves while hunting. This is why they are so rarely found in the wild.
They are an apex predator and are very territorial. We have mentioned the types of meat they eat, and, incredibly, they can eat as large a quantity as 40 pounds of meat at any one time.
They will then hunt again after feasting and try to attack their prey whilst also ambushing them.
In captivity, white tigers have a diet that consists of chicken, horse meat, and sometimes even kangaroo meat.
White tigers use their heavy body weight to knock their prey, and then they kill it by biting its neck. They can reach speeds of 96 km/h which makes it hard for prey to ever run away, and their retractable claws make it easy for them to grab and hold on to prey.
White Tiger Habitat
White tigers live in tropical forests and grasslands. They are native to South Asia and Southeast Asia. They like subcontinent tropical jungles, swamps, and grasslands.
Their habitat includes India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, China, Japan, Taiwan, Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Australia, New Caledonia, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, Cook Islands, Kiribati, Tuvalu, Hawaii, and Mexico.
However, as they are usually a product of captivity, they are very rare to see in the wild, especially in the United States.
Tigers in captivity are not only seen in zoos, but also in circuses, private collections, and rescue sanctuaries.
They have no natural predators, but the International Union for Conservation of Nature has listed the Bengal tiger as ‘endangered’. Why? You guessed it – human intervention.
Tigers Living In Captivity
There are many zoos all over the world that house white tigers. Some of these places include:
- Cincinnati Zoo – Ohio
- San Diego Wild Animal Park – California
- Bronx Zoo – New York
- Memphis Zoological Garden – Tennessee
- Tampa Bay Aquarium – Florida
- Denver Zoo – Colorado
- Indianapolis Zoo – Indiana
- Chicago Zoological Society – Illinois
- Philadelphia Zoo – Pennsylvania
- Dallas Zoo – Texas
The White Tigers include:
- Kuma – Born in 1994, he lives in the San Diego Wild Animal Park.
- Nisha – Born in 1996, she lives in the Bronx Zoo in New York.
- Mina – Born in 1999, she lives in the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium.
- Amu – Born in 2000, she lives in the Memphis Zoological Society.
White tigers in captivity are not always kept together. But it’s interesting and important to note that white tigers do not mate well with other species of tigers.
Where Did All The White Tigers Go?
In the 1970s, there were more than 2,000 white tigers in captivity. Today, fewer than 400 white tigers are living in the world. Why did this happen?
In the 1960s, the Soviet Union began exporting white tigers to countries like Mongolia, Cuba, and North Korea. Unfortunately, some of these countries didn’t care for the white tigers and released them into the wild.
Another reason why white tigers became extinct was poaching. Poachers killed white tigers, so they could sell their skins.
Sadly, the poaching of white tigers continues today even though it’s illegal to kill white tigers in the wild. However, poachers still take the big cats captive and then sell them illegally online.
Why Is It Important To Save White Tigers?
The white tiger is an amazing animal. It’s incredibly beautiful and majestic. Many people love seeing white tigers in person.
But white tigers are facing extinction. If we don’t save the white tigers now, they will be gone forever.
We can save the species by making sure that the white tigers live in captivity and following our advice below. This way, we can protect them from being hunted or sold illegally.
White tigers are also extremely valuable. A white tiger can cost as much as $100,000. That makes them worth more than any other type of tiger and vulnerable to the illegal wildlife trade.
What Can We Do To Help Save White Tigers?
If you want to help save white tigers, here are some things you can do:
- Donate money to organizations that work to save the animals.
- Support organizations that try to make sure the white tigers stay alive.
- Keep your eyes open for white tigers in the wild!
- Be careful when you go on safari trips.
- Never buy a tiger skin or any other kind of wildlife product.
We hope you enjoyed learning about the white tigers. We know how special they are, and we hope you do too.
They deserve our protection, and, although they are only found in captivity now, we need to make sure that they remain safe whilst they are there. White tigers are a part of our history, culture, and more.
Let’s keep them alive and keep learning about them for as long as possible!