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Across the world, especially in the United States, a massive deception about white tigers and their origin is taking place.
Did you know that there truly is no such thing as a royal white Bengal tiger in captivity?
Did you know that there isn´t even a wild white tiger population, and that no white tiger has even been seen since the 1950s?
Did you know that there isn´t even a conservational value for breeding white tigers, nor that any are able to participate in any Species Survival Plans?
And finally, did you know that white tigers can only exist through rampant inbreeding, which causes heavy deformities, mental disabilities, and birth defects?
Most people don´t know these things. This is mainly because the zoos just don´t want the public to know. White tigers are the animal that everyone wants to see. When sold, they cost much more than a normal orange colored tiger. They are seen as more valuable because the public has naively believed the lies spread by countless zoos around the world.
White tigers are all related to Mohan, a white tiger cub that was captured in India in the 1950s. He was bred to a Siberian tiger (they hoped that the resulting cubs would be bigger due to the Siberian tiger´s greater size) in the hopes of producing more white tigers.
When all the cubs were orange, they were baffled. But, as they soon discovered, by breeding Mohan with his own daughter, some white tigers resulted. The inbreeding turned out to be necessary because the rarity of the gene that causes the white coloration, and because the gene is double recessive. From then on, all white tigers have been a result of such inbreeding.
Since the first breeding occurred between a Bengal and Siberian tiger, all subsequent animals were tiger hybrids. Because they were not pure species, no white tiger or orange tiger from that line will ever be able to be used in Species Survival Programs. Only pure subspecies can be used for that. Therefore, when zoos say they breed white tigers for conservation, they are trying to deceive the public. AZA accredited zoos typically frown upon the practice of breeding white tigers for this very reason.
With inbreeding comes many problems. The neonatal mortality rate for these animals is 80%. That means 80% of these tigers will die of birth defects. All other white tigers will have crossed eyes, whether it shows or not, because the white gene causes the optic nerve to be wired on the wrong side of the brain. The majority that survives suffer from profound defects and problems, such as immune deficiency, scoliosis, cleft palates, mental impairments, deformities, etc. The list could go on. So many of these animals suffer from deformities that it is estimated that only 1 in 30 white tigers will be put on display. The rest are sold off, either to another roadside zoo or placed in the exotic pet trade, or are killed. Zoos have no interest in animals they deem ugly.
This is the abuse that you are supporting every time you pay patronage to a zoo that has white tigers. This means that you must boycott such zoos and spread the word about this despicable practice. Contact any zoos you know of with white tigers and urge them to get their animals fixed. This is something that we can stop! We need to get our voices heard by the places that continue to breed these animals. When they realize the public isn´t falling for their tricks, they´ll realize that they have to stop the abuse in order to earn money.
When the people stop paying, maybe the killing and abuse can stop too.
"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated."
- Mohandas Gandhi
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A special thanks to Big Cat Rescue and Carole Baskin (their founder) for allowing us to use their images. It was a great help and we appreciate it immensely.
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Introduction music: Kevin MacLeod (Rocket)
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