If beauty were to decide the jungle king, the white tiger would be among the leading contestants. This rare member of the Bengal subspecies has a white fur coat graced with the regular black stripes, making it one of the most sought-after animals in the world. The breed’s rarity poses many questions to the world and has birthed a curiosity in many. This article quenches that curiosity by providing ten incredible white tiger facts.

1. White tigers are falsely marketed as a highly endangered species

White tigers are not a separate subspecies of tiger. There is only one tiger species and only two recognized subspecies in the world—the Continental (Panthera tigris tigris) and the Sunda (Panthera tigris sondaica). The color of the white tiger's fur is the result of a genetic mutation called leucism. In fact, this white coat would be a hindrance in the wild, as it doesn’t provide a tiger with any camouflage, which greatly reduces their chance of survival.

2. White Tigers Have Some Unique and Distinct Characteristics

White tiger facts show us how these beautiful tigers have more unique characteristics when compared to other tigers than just the color of their fur. They are of course a majestic white shade with black stripes but they also have a distinct pink nose and blue eyes. They are often much larger than other tigers, both at birth and as they mature. A white tiger is usually considered to be an adult tiger between two and three years of age.

3. The White Tiger Is A Product of Genetic Mutation

The white tiger looks the way it does due to genetic mutation. Usually, a tiger has the base orange color and the black stripes to match. The orange color results from pheomelanin, which unfortunately is absent in the white tiger. The white striped coat is a product of a recessive gene in both parents that becomes dominant in the cub. By default, these cubs are born without the orange striped color but a white or pale cream coat.

4. These animals are often bred for cash, not conservation

Captive tiger cubs, including white tiger cubs, generate a large amount of revenue for the facilities that own them, and that funding often does not reach the field conservation projects they say that they support. Small tiger cubs are relatively easy to care for, but the constant stream of new cubs needed by many facilities for photo ops or cub handling for paying customers creates a bigger problem when they reach adulthood. Adult tigers are expensive to care for and require larger and more secure enclosures. To reduce their numbers, some captive facilities kill their tigers once they reach adulthood and sell their parts to supply the illegal tiger trade, making a profit for a second time. And as long as captive facilities continue to supply tigers, their parts and products into the illegal trade which fuels the demand for tiger products, wild tigers will always be at risk.

5. White Tiger Birth In The Wild Is Very Rare

A white tiger’s birth is only possible in the wild when both tiger parents carry the recessive gene that causes the condition. This, however, is a challenging possibility as this case is only possible in 1 out of 10000 births. With these figures, it’s clear to see why the white tiger is a rare breed.

6. White Tigers Love Eating Protein

According to white tiger facts, these animals are carnivorous hunters. They hunt both on land and in the water, and they are great swimmers. White tigers are able to take on prey that is larger than they are, and can even bring down an animal that weighs close to a ton. They prey on a wide variety of animals, including monkeys, birds, wild cattle and deer. A white tiger will only hunt every few days so when it does secure a meal, it will feast until its stomach is completely full.