• Stupid Pic - /\/egative
  • You say it's stupid. Everyone else says it's awesome. I think I win this one paws down.
  • haha you looooooose!! xP awesome drawing, awesome idea.(: - Makayla Wears Prada [Is Back!!]
  • this is beautifully written.
    it's true though. - chrissyygiovanna
  • that is so sad i saw a horrific photo of how an albino mutation turned out it was horrible we need to stop pollution and other things wrong with this world - jhasara's daughter
  • you, sir or ma'am, are the stupid one. How could you even say that?! Anyone with eyes can see that this is a wonderful picture, filled with artistic talent and a desire to right wrongs. Maybe you should look up the definitions of "stupid" and "awesome" and then decide which it is. - The Fanged One

I Hate My Life

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While the white or golden tabby coloration of these animals may be pretty, what the zoos won't tell you is that, in reality, it's a deadly genetic mutation. THEY ARE NOT A SUBSPECIES, and are not albino.

The white gene is a double-recessive one caused mostly by inbreeding (in a natural mating, there is only a one in 10,000 chance that a tiger will be white), which is why they say that it exists 'only in captivity'. Zoos are not willing to wait for this one in 10,000 miracle tiger, and so find that the only other way to produce them is through inbreeding.

Even though it does happen naturally in the wild that tigers can be born white, there are many reports of wild tiger mothers attempting to smother their white cubs to death, because the coloration also makes the tigers more visible to prey. In a natural setting, white tigers and golden tabby tigers would starve to death, or die of other complications. This maternal behavior is noted even today in zoos, and often, white tigers must be taken from their mothers immediately after birth. The Singapore Zoo reported that one of their mother tigers refused to nurse her white cubs, so handlers had to raise the infant tiger themselves.

As further proof, white and golden tigers ARE NOT managed by the Species Survival Plan, under the following reasons:
1) the Indian Zoo Association is responsible for managing the Bengal tiger, along with the European EEP;
2) most white tigers are of unknown lineage;
3) because the SSP is based upon maximizing genetic diversity. Selective breeding of an extremely rare allele for white coloration is not appropriate.

According to Dr. Ron Tilson, Conservation Director of the Minnesota Zoo and manager of the world renown Tiger Species Survival Plan, "The white tiger controversy among zoos is a small part ethics and a large part economics. The tiger Species Survival Plan has condemned breeding white tigers because of their mixed ancestry, most have been hybridized with other subspecies and are of unknown lineage, and because they serve no conservation purpose. Owners of white tigers say they are popular exhibit animals and increase zoo attendance and revenues as well. The same rationalization can be applied to the selective propagation of white lions, king cheetahs and other phenotypically aberrant animals."

What Dr. Tilson didn't fully understand was that the inbreeding went even beyond the Bengal tiger bloodline. To make white tigers even more visually-appealing to the public, they were cross-bred with Siberian tigers, which, according to information released by Daniel C. Laughlin, a widely-recognized manager of zoological animals, makes "white tigers in the U.S. crossbred or hybrid animals, part Siberian and part Bengal. So, in conclusion, every white tiger in the U.S. is not only the result of repeated inbreeding of genetically defective animals but, even worse, is a hybrid or crossbred animal. Thus, anyone involved in breeding and/or exhibiting white tigers is doing a great disservice to honest conservation and preservation efforts to save the five remaining and endangered subspecies of tigers barely clinging to survival in their rapidly diminishing natural habitats."

But it gets worse: Laws in the United States actually allow people to own tigers as pets under the condition that they have a permit. Since a white tiger cub can sell for an average of $60,000, people are creating these cats through inbreeding in captivity without any professional background or knowledge. According to some sources, 80 percent of these white cubs die. Surviving cubs often have a range of problems including immune system deficiencies, scoliosis, cleft palates, mental impairments and/or bulging, crossed eyes. (Source: www.itsyourtimes.com/?q=node/2647 )

Also, ALL WHITE TIGER ARE CROSS-EYED, even if it is not readily apparent. This is because the gene which makes them white also messes up the way their eyes are wired to their brains.

Other deformities include serious dental problems and deformed bone structure. Mental issues are probably the most common result (I watched at a roadside zoo here in Oregon as a white tiger licked a concrete wall until its tongue bled). Gnawing on fences or enclosure walls, pacing and constant salivation are other sure signs that the cat you are looking at suffers from the affects of its unfortunate ancestry.

Often, you will see photos of white tigers being fed milk from baby bottles, or sucking on their trainer's fingers during performances. Biologists believe that this a sign of prolonged stress in the animal, and that it has regressed back to acting like a dependent cub. This is not healthy and should NOT be encouraged.

Over all, it's a sad issue which is not being noted by the public enough to end it. Most zoos and safari parks won't even tell you about the inbreeding issue, or will claim that their white tigers were a 'natural' occurrence. But there have been no 'natural' white tiger births since 1951.

What these establishments are doing is wrong and immoral, and lying to the public about their tigers (or at least withholding the information from the public) shows quite obviously that they are not in it for the animals; they are in it for the money. Deliberately breeding an animal in the knowledge that its life will be unnecessarily painful is cruel, and is a practice that should have no place in modern animal care. White and golden tabby tigers are merely a product of the practice of inbreeding, and are not being bred for any sort of conservation program, regardless of what various zoos and other establishments claim. The Endangered Species Act does not classify golden tabby or white tigers as under threat; they are instead classified as a genetic variant. Tinkering with their genes in order to ‘improve’ them is just an act of vanity on the part of humans.

THE BEST THING YOU CAN DO TO HELP: Inquire at your local zoo as to where they got their white tigers, and let them know that you are aware of the issue noted above. Also, avoid roadside zoos which house white tigers, as these establishments are the most at fault for the inbreeding. But above all, education is the best means of helping the unfortunate plight of white tigers. Spreading the word of the inbreeding will make more people aware of the unfortunate plight.

For more information, visit:
1) www.bigcatrescue.org/cats/wild/white_tigers.htm

2) www.animalsvoice.com/edits/editorial/news/invest/siegfrie...

3) www.animalcorner.co.uk/rainforests/bengalwhite.html

4) lists.envirolink.org/pipermail/ar-news/Week-of-Mon-200310...

5) peaceriverrefuge.org/Tiger.html

Sites where this image has been used for education:

1) www.felinest.com/white-tigers-are-not-natural/

2) winddanncer.today.com/

Other sites of interest:

1) www.buzzinbizarre.co.uk/behind-the-breeding-of-the-white-...

v.marshall45-TrueNaturesChild, and 251 other people added this photo to their favorites.

View 20 more comments

  1. Simply Sunny 46 months ago | reply

    I did not know that! thank you for the information, and you're drawing is very good!

  2. Ghoti_Rave 45 months ago | reply

    Wow, I did not know this.
    It's horrible..
    Your picture is beautiful. <3

    I'm supposed to be going to a zoo soon, I don't know if they have white tigers or not, but would I be able to print of this, adding a link to here of course, as well as what you wrote under the picture to show anyone round the enclosure?
    Assuming there are "white tigers" there, obviously.

  3. Little Lioness 45 months ago | reply

    The zookeepers probably wouldn't appreciate it. White tigers are a HUGE attraction at zoos because the media has made people believe they're extraordinarily endangered. Zoos rely heavily on this ignorance in order to exploit the tigers. Simply put, showing off to visitors that you know the truth is bad for business, and if you're bad for business, the zoo has a right to kick you out. :(

  4. Ghoti_Rave 45 months ago | reply

    Pff, I don't really like zoos anyway, so being kicked out wouldn't bother me too much.

    Turns out we're not going anyway cause my dog's really ill, so I wont get the chance anyway.

  5. snowpardess 44 months ago | reply

    Really well done. I knew this, but still it's good to see people care. My 11 year old cousin, who doesn't know English, saw this drawing and said "Oh my god! It's so cute! Really pretty!"... quite sad, but then I explained her how they 'make' white tigers. She was schocked and then told all her friends in school about it. It's the best when people young like that are aware of what humanity does to animals, and that they want to educate and they do care, too.

  6. Miss Acuarelas 41 months ago | reply


    How Sad!


  7. JAFFA CAKE 41 months ago | reply

    Thanks for posting this. I was aware of the mutation - but its not doing much good being sat inside my head. Im glad there are better people out there than me and actually ACT on their knowledge.

    I think im going to have to do some re-appraising ....

  8. CarlaCarlaCarlaCarla 38 months ago | reply

    I hate zoos. Thanks for sharing this.

  9. Little Lioness 38 months ago | reply

    It's important to remember that not all zoos are bad.

    It's a myth that zoos take animals out of the wild, and not all of them breed genetically-deficiant animals or keep them in poor conditions. The trick is simply knowing the difference between a zoo aimed at conservation and education - and a zoo aimed at nothing more than exploitation and profit.

    Your best bet is simply steering clear of all zoos which are not accredited by the AZA. The AZA is a non-profit organization which sets the standard for exceptional animal care, enrichment, education, and successful captive breeding programs. You can find a list of accredited zoos on their website here: www.aza.org/

  10. sarahwithanh27 38 months ago | reply

    Are the same issues with white tigers applicable to white lions?

  11. Little Lioness 38 months ago | reply

    White lions occur in nature with a much higher frequency, and unlike tigers, do not require both parents to carry the genetic trait for the paler coloration, so inbreeding is not needed to create them.

    On the down side, white lions are at a disadvange in the wild because female lions prefer males with darker manes. This is because darker pigment co-incides with higher levels of testosterone. A male with more testoterone is better-suited to lead a pride, so is the obvious choice for a female.

    Likewise, white lions don't really serve any conservation-related purpose in zoos aside from boosting attendance. They're often exploited like white tigers to draw a bigger crowd, but actually just take up space in zoos which could be used for animals whose genetics can actually contribute to the species' survival.

  12. LunaFirefly 37 months ago | reply

    This really spoke to me. I'm a wildlife student in college currently, an on and off worker at an AZA accredited zoo and a tiger lover. I am a huge supporter of educating the public about white tigers because people only see the beauty of them and do not want to inquire anymore about them. My goal, as well as yours obviously, is to make people aware of what is really going on with white tigers. This picture is very much appreciated.

  13. WillBlaylock 36 months ago | reply

    Sad how self important and greedy we humans can be

    and I wish there were a list for unfavorites as the message should be sent that this is very sad and should bring a great deal of shame on anyone who participates... I will settle for favorite in the hope that at least people will read the mesasge

  14. Ingrid Sørensen 28 months ago | reply

    Thank you so much for sharing this story with us. Now I am glad I know.

  15. grazatt 25 months ago | reply

    I feel like that tiger, I hate my life too!

  16. louisa_catlover 23 months ago | reply

    wow, I didn't know this... thanks for the important info!

  17. dixiegirl64 14 months ago | reply

    Hey Little Lioness, I read your story about the white and tabby tigers, and I'm right there with you!!!!!! I am against these displays and feel very sorry for the animals. Can I add you to my contact list?

  18. Autumn_Leaves808 14 months ago | reply

    I had no idea this was happening. I have to say I always noticed that white tigers were a little... different from the normally pigmented ones, but I never acknowledged it. Thanks so very much for opening my eyes to this situation, as I will make sure to spread awareness of it to as many people as I can. Us humans will do anything for money, it seems. It sickens me.

  19. ildikóhajdú 9 months ago | reply

    i hope you don't mind to share this on my facebook.

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