White tigress in love with her cub. The back story is not loving.

Of course, the video is charming. We all love to see moms and their babies as there is nothing more charming. And when the mother is a beautiful white tiger cuddling and playing with her white cub the charm is magnified. It is about as charming as animals can get but what is the back story to white tigers?
A charming picture of a white tiger mother and her offspring. A loving scene. The back story is not about love.
A charming picture of a white tiger mother and her offspring. A loving scene. The back story is not about love.

You might know but then you might not. All the white tigers that you see in captivity are hugely inbred. They have to be because they all come from one tiger. Yes, one single tiger. That does not bode very well for genetic diversity. The best book on tigers in the world (probably) states that:
"All white tigers in captivity are descendants of a white male cub captured in the forests of Rewa in Madhya Pradesh, India in 1951. The cub named Mohan was mated with a normal-coloured tigress, but the union produced three litters of normal-coloured cubs. When Monaghan was paired with one of his normal-coloured daughters, a litter of four white cubs was born, and all captive white tigers are descended from this mating of Mohan and his daughter Radha. Father-daughter, father-granddaughter, and brother-sister matings of these animals have combined to produce high coefficients of inbreeding, which led to reduced fertility and increased cub mortality. White tigers also suffer from many other problems, including eye weakness, swayback, and twisted necks." 
As I said, the beautiful, pristine and sparkling white tigers that you see in captivity, which entrance you and enthrall you and entertain you are based upon massive inbreeding and frankly cruel behaviour by zookeepers and going back to the beginning cruel hunters who shot the mother of this last white tiger cub called Mohan. Complete madness as far as I am concerned. Whenever I think about it, it makes me mad as you can probably tell by reading between the lines.

The best book on tigers in the world is Wild Cats of the World by Mel and Fiona Sunquist.
Note: This is an embedded tweet. Sometimes they are deleted at source which stops them working on this site. If that has happened, I apologise but I have no control over it.


Popular posts from this blog

What do tigers eat in the jungle?

Mythology in China - Bai Hu (white tiger)

Can tigers meow?