Contrary to popular belief, white tigers are merely a genetic color mutation of the Bengal tiger, and do not constitute a separate species. At this time, populations of Bengal tigers are estimated to be between 1,300 and 1,500. But according to zoologists, there is only a 1 in 10,000 chance that a Bengal tiger will be born with the white genetic mutation.
In the past 100 years, there have only been 12 confirmed reports of white tiger sightings in the wild, the last of which occurred in 1959.
Due to their coloration, it is believed that white tigers are disadvantaged in the wild since their stark markings make them far more visible to prey in the dark jungle.
In captivity, white tigers are achieved through selective breeding, as both parents need to be carriers of the white gene in order to produce white offspring. Because of this, many zoos have resorted to inbreeding (matings between relatives), which can cause the cubs to suffer from a wide range of ailments, from cleft palates to mental retardation.
According to the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and the World Wildlife Fund, white tigers have no conservation-related value aside from increasing zoo attendance. They are not included in any Species Survival Plan, and exist only in zoos and private collections today.
There are at least 200 white tigers in zoos today, but many more in the hands of private owners who keep them as ‘pets’, none presently in the wild.
The white coloration is a mutation, in the wild there are few if any, In captivity there are a few dozen.
White tigers are not a type of tiger that survives in the wild because they do not have their natural camouflage they only survive in captivity so their numbers are higher in zoos and because of that people are more concerned with the depleting numbers of tigers in general in the wild.
Courtesy & Source : Wiki.Answers, Google, Wikipedia
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