White tiger, is it really endangered?

Essay by gryfozHigh School, 12th gradeA+, March 2004

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Tigers are an Asian species found from the frozen tundra of the soviet far east, south to the humid jungles of Malaya and Indonesia, and west to the hot hardwood forests of India. The Bengal tiger is an endangered species. White Bengal tigers are Bengal tiger; therefore the white tiger is too. A white tiger can only be born when both parents carry the unusual gene for white coloring. 1 out of 10,000 Bengal tigers is born white, and they are not albinos. For unexplained reasons it seems to occur only in the Bengal subspecies. Every year there is more white tigers instead of less. So the real meaning of this research paper is to find out, are they really endangered?

"One of the reasons that white cubs are rare in the wild is that the color places them at a terrible disadvantage. Because they lack normal camouflage, which offers cubs some protection against predators, they rarely survive to adulthood.

The white gene is removed before it can be passed on to another generation. This explains why there is no population of wild white tigers. Nevertheless, we see increasing numbers of white tigers in captivity. There is no such thing as a snow tiger. All captivity white tigers originate from the first captive white tiger "Mohan", from India. The white tiger was hunted to extinction from the 1700's by the Maharajah, who thought if he killed the Great Ghost Cat, it would bring him spiritual greatness. They were hunted to extinction and disappeared until "Mohan" was spotted in 1959. In adulthood, Mohan was bred to a wild-caught orange tigress named Begum, but her three litters contained only cubs of normal coloration (we now know that the combination probably did not have the genetic code to produce white tigers). She was...