Extremely Rare Pale Tiger Photographed In India

Tiger Poaching On The Rise

An extremely rare “pale tiger” that conservationists claim could have the fairest fur of any tiger in the wild has been photographed in Southern India. Belinda Wright, the founder of the Wildlife Protection Society of India says that the photographs show the palest tiger she has ever seen or heard about in literature. The tiger was captured on photograph earlier this month by wildlife photographer Nilanjan Ray whilst he was driving through a wildlife reserve in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu.

Pale tigers are not white tigers

Pale tigers are not the same as white tigers and the reason for the colour of their fur is thought to be because of a genetic mutation that results in what biologists refer to as colour morphism. The mutation occurs in environments where there are large random mating pools that allow for a differentiated exchange of genes. Parvish Pandya who is a doctor of zoology says a pale tiger birth is quite a genetic chance and added that this tiger was not an albino because it does not have a pinkish hue around its eyes.

Last white tiger killed in the 50’s

Ms Wright who has spent many years in India observing tigers says she has only ever seen one pale tiger before though on that occasion it was not nearly as pale as this one. The last wild white tiger was shot and killed in 1958 though there are a few still living in public and private zoos. Many captive white tigers suffer from severe health problems because they lack genetic diversity. Ms Wright adds that because there aren’t any white tiger genes in the wild, this probably means the pale tiger caught on camera in Tamil Nadu could be one of the fairest known living outside captivity.

 “You occasionally see lighter-coloured tigers, but they’re nothing compared to this one,” she said. “There are also some pale tigers in captivity, particularly in the US, but these are ‘cocktail’ tigers that are bred that way, with genes from white tigers.”

The tiger looked cute

Mr Ray said he was driving through the national park when he came across a usual orange striped tiger on the road around 200 feet away. That tiger fled the scene and as they were slowly driving past the stretch, they saw the pale tiger just sitting there on the hillside half hidden by the growth just looking back at the group. He goes on to say the tiger looked cute instead of frightened or aggressive and as they were watching it another normal tiger appeared much closer to the group which suggests they are either siblings or, mother and cub.

"Please note, any prices mentioned in the adopt an animal blog are correct at the time of posting. Please check the relevant website for the latest pricing information."

Leave a Reply