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The Invalid by CindarellaPop The Invalid by CindarellaPop
White tigers do not exist in the wild. They are not Siberian tigers nor are they any kind of subspecies. They are a result of a recessive gene causing Leucism, which interferes with pigment in cells and causes the animal to appear partially albino.

It is a recessive gene, and one that only manifests as a white tiger due to inbreeding. The first captive white tigers were born when a white tiger cub was found in the wild and taken in, and when he became an adult he was bred, producing normal orange tigers. But when bred back to one of his daughters, she had white cubs.

Nearly all white tigers today are descended from that one male. Due to intense inbreeding, over half of all white tiger cubs are stillborn. Even more are hideously deformed, with only a small percentage of them deemed suitable to be shown to the public.

They are commonly crossbred to Siberian tigers to make them larger and flashier for the show ring. The subspecies mixing and interbreeding has gotten so bad that the majority of American captive tigers are now considered completely useless for conservation efforts.

In addition to hampering conservation efforts, white tigers suffer from other problems related to inbreeding, including cleft palate, scoliosis, compromised immune systems, cross-eyes and vision problems, mental deficiencies, balance problems and an extremely painful problem in which the cat's brain becomes too large for its skull.

White tigers do exist in the wild but usually die in infancy, and tiger mothers often purposefully smother their white cubs. They are bred primarily to be pretty, but little else.
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:iconmuura:
muura Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2013  Professional General Artist
Thanks for bringing important information into publicity <3
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:iconthequotefox:
TheQuoteFox Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013  Professional Artisan Crafter
Bravo, my friend.

This is well-written, (and well-drawn!) and hopefully will spread the word about yet another wrong the human kind has given the animals to bear.
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:iconcindarellapop:
CindarellaPop Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
Thanks! Every little bit helps, hopefully.
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:iconthesilverbells:
TheSilverBells Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013
Are Golden Tabby Tigers born the same way? :C
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:iconcindarellapop:
CindarellaPop Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
Unfortunately so. I don't know if they suffer the same health concerns as white tigers though.
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:iconsvraka-machka:
Svraka-Machka Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I actually never knew about this, I always assumed the white tiger was born from a recessive gene in tigers; like in humans, how you can have both parents with brown eyes and their child has blue eyes. Although the white tiger would be a bit more rare then that. But inbreeding? That's disgusting, no matter how nice the (occasional) result can be.

On a slightly related note, have you heard of Maltese/blue tigers? They haven't been proven to exist yet, but there is some evidence to suggest they might be around. But if any were born in the wild they probably come to the same end as white tiger cubs.
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:iconcindarellapop:
CindarellaPop Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
I have heard of them! It's unknown if they exist, or if they ever existed. It's possible that one or two 'maltese' individuals existed at one time but that their line died out. Maybe we'll never know.
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:iconsvraka-machka:
Svraka-Machka Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Although I am holding out some small hope that one would be discovered in the future, it might have the same issue as white tigers, having all that inbreeding for some blue tigers in a zoo :/

I'd settle for photographs, personally.
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:iconcindarellapop:
CindarellaPop Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
I know black tigers are a documented phenomenon that was also due to inbreeding, in which the stripes became so thick they nearly blotted out the orange. I'm actually somewhat surprised that this isn't a think in zoos today; as the pelts that exist of black tigers are very visually striking.
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:iconsvraka-machka:
Svraka-Machka Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Yes, but there are no living specimens in captivity or that have been sighted in the wild recently, and are pretty much the same as white tigers in terms of their predicament, only there aren't any around right now. There was a barring on zoos against the breeding of white tigers, white lions and king cheetahs, so there is some hope for our poor inbred felids.
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:iconcindarellapop:
CindarellaPop Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
It's for the best, really.
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:iconsvraka-machka:
Svraka-Machka Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
:iconsadnod:
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:iconflyingkitterz:
FlyingKitterz Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2013  Student General Artist
People are so disgustingly shallow sometimes.
I knew that white tigers were rare and just a mutation but I had no clue that they were the result of inbreeding, and I certainly didn't know they were rare because most of them don't even make it past infancy/were stillborn, or were just 'unappealing' due to all the other side-effects of inbreeding.
This reminds me of those munchkin cats, people breed them because their short legs are cute but they are also notorious for having serious heart problems. At what point did it become okay in these peoples heads to screw around with nature because they 'like how it looks'? It's a living creature, not an art project you shallow fucks.
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:iconcindarellapop:
CindarellaPop Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
Exactly. Same goes for bulldogs and pugs. Female bulldogs can't even give birth because of their messed up anatomy, they need to have c-sections.
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:iconwitwitch:
witwitch Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2013  Student Writer
How very sad. :(

I love tigers. I had no idea. I will never look at a white tiger the same way.
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:iconcindarellapop:
CindarellaPop Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
It isn't very well known because the places that breed them usually put a positive spin on them for the public.
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:iconwitwitch:
witwitch Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2013  Student Writer
People who want to make a profit at the expense of others generally do that.
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:iconcindarellapop:
CindarellaPop Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
:iconsadnodplz:
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:icongalacticgoat:
GalacticGoat Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
:c that's so sad. I wish this was more common knowledge so people would realize white tigers might look nice but are honestly not worth breeding.
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:iconcindarellapop:
CindarellaPop Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
Yeah, the poor guys don't really stand much of a chance. :C
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:iconhurricaneleslie1:
HurricaneLeslie1 Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2013
Beautiful lines and thank you for the information! I never knew that about white tigers. It's kind of a sad thing.
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:iconcindarellapop:
CindarellaPop Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
Thank you. It is a very sad thing, especially because most zoos and parks that breed them have managed to put a positive spin on their births and trick people into thinking it's good news.
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:iconhurricaneleslie1:
HurricaneLeslie1 Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2013
:(
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:iconfragilebutts:
FragileButts Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
yes ty.
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