white-tiger-animalsWhite tigers are not a separate subspecies of tiger, and they are not albinos, they are just white-coloured Bengal tigers.

White tigers are only born when two tigers that both carry the unusual gene for white colouring mate.  Their colour is caused by a double recessive allele.  A Bengal tiger with two normal alleles or one normal and one white allele is coloured orange.  Only a double dose of the mutant allele results in white tigers.  White tigers have blue eyes, pink noses, and creamy white fur with chocolate coloured stripes.

w-tigerAlthough some people think that white tigers come from Siberia where their white colour helps camouflage them in the snow, this is not true – they come from India! The only wild white tigers ever reported are white-coloured Bengal tigers found in India.  In captivity, however there are some white tigers that are hybrids – a mix of different subspecies.  White Bengal tigers are sometimes mated with tigers from other subspecies, producing white hybrid tigers.
Fatty-Diamond-2015-624x624Tigers are not found in Africa because they never evolved there.  Modern day tigers are all descended from tigers that originally lived in south central China.  As tigers moved outward from Southern China, they reached Turkey and Iran, but there is no evidence that they got any closer to the African continent.
tasmanian-tigerThe animal that is sometimes referred to as the Tasmanian tiger is actually not a tiger at all – it’s a marsupial.  Also known as the Tasmanian wolf or Thylacine, the animal had rounded cat-like ears, brown colouring and stripes on the back half of its body. The species reportedly went extinct in the 1930’s, however in recent years there have been unconfirmed sightings of the animal.

Unlike most cat species, tigers like water and are good swimmers.  In tropical climates, tigers frequently spend time lying in water to cool off. The tiger appears to prefer bathing in fresh water. Drenching and drying keeps tigers cool during the hottest part of the day. They often follow a pattern of soaking for about an hour, then returning to dry land where the winds have a cooling effect on the wet body. As the benefits start to wear off they once more return for another cooling soak. An interesting fact is These cats are powerful swimmers and can easily cross rivers 6-8 kms wide and have even been known to swim distances of up to 29 km.  Although Tigers love water, they do not like to get it in their eyes and will frequently enter backwards to ensure this doesn’t happen. When emerging they’ll often shake like a dog to remove the worst of the water from their coats. In saying that there is always the exception.