by Dan Laughlin, DVM, Ph.D.
I want to take this chance to supply a really related reality relating to all of the white tigers which are presently within the U.S. About twenty-five years in the past I absolutely researched and documented the correct family tree and origin of the white tiger within the U.S. That analysis revealed that there have been and are two separate origins of white tigers. The one which has acquired all the eye is the Indian or Bengal tiger bloodline which originated in India and entered the U.S. by way of a breeding mortgage to the Nationwide Zoo. One of many Indian origin tigers carrying the recessive gene for the white colour was the mom of the second litter of white tigers born on the Cincinnati Zoo in 1976.
The unique litter of white tigers born at Cincinnati in 1974 and all subsequent Indian origin bloodline white tigers quickly died out within the U.S. with out leaving any pure Indian origin Bengal white tigers within the U.S.
What shouldn’t be recognized, as a result of I’ve by no means revealed my analysis definitively displaying the true origin of the white tiger within the U.S., is that there’s a second and separate origin of the white tiger which occurred spontaneously in two separate personal collections on this nation when each house owners inbred brothers to sisters that have been all offspring of two litters ensuing from crossing a pure Siberian male and a Bengal feminine at a small zoo in South Dakota.
Of the twelve reside cubs born to the Siberian male and Bengal feminine at that small zoo, one of many personal people bought a litter of two cubs, a brother and sister, and the opposite particular person bought one other litter of 5 cubs, brothers and sisters, by way of an animal vendor. Each people inbred their brothers and sisters and spontaneously had white tiger cubs born. One white male crossbred tiger, half-Siberian and half-Bengal, was positioned on mortgage to the Cincinnati Zoo the place he was crossed with a white service feminine Bengal tiger on mortgage from the Nationwide Zoo. That hybrid crossing in 1976 of the 2 separate white tiger origin bloodlines produced a litter of 4 white tiger cubs and one regular coloured white service cub.
“the Zoo proceeded to repeatedly inbreed… the white male to his white female sister… Thus, every white tiger ever born at the Cincinnati Zoo is part Siberian tiger and part Bengal tiger… It is those offspring which have been disseminated throughout the U.S.”
The Cincinnati Zoo then returned each mother and father and three of the cubs to the 2 exhibitors that had positioned their adults there on mortgage after which the Zoo proceeded to repeatedly inbreed forwards and backwards the white male to his white feminine sister that the Zoo had retained possession of for themselves. Thus, each white tiger ever born on the Cincinnati Zoo was and is a component Siberian tiger and half Bengal tiger to a larger or lesser diploma.
It’s these offspring which have been disseminated all through the U.S. One of many people who owned the litter of 5 brothers and sisters representing the American crossbred white tiger bloodline has continued to inbreed his tigers for over the previous twenty-five years despite the fact that his neonate mortality fee has typically exceeded eighty per cent and his tigers are severely faulty and unfit.
By pure probability and towards overwhelming odds, when the 2 separate bloodlines, the Indian and American, have been crossed for the primary and solely time on the Cincinnati Zoo, the offspring have been pretty thrifty and of regular start weight.
Apparently, anybody with even cursory expertise with and information of the 5 remaining and endangered subspecies of tigers ought to be capable of merely take a look at the white tigers all through the U.S. and clearly see the phenotypic Siberian traits current within the cats. Some weigh as much as seven hundred kilos and most clearly resemble and exhibit Siberian tiger bodily traits.
The solely conceivable professional purpose for exhibiting a white tiger can be for instructional functions to obviously and unequivocally illustrate to the general public the method of pure choice and the way, when a deleterious recessive genetic mutation randomly happens that’s disadvantageous for the survival of the animal, akin to white shade in a tropical jungle setting, the animal doesn’t survive to cross on that genetic mutation or disadvantageous attribute to its offspring.
This was the traditional course of pure choice and evolution of the tiger till a younger white tiger male was captured in 1951, raised after which inbred to one in every of his daughters by a Maharajah in India who had captured him. Then, within the early 1970’s, the recessive genetic mutation for the white shade was current in each the male Siberian tiger and the feminine Bengal tiger that have been exhibited and bred on the small zoo in South Dakota ensuing within the origin of the American white tiger bloodline.
To cite from Dr. Ron Tilson, Conservation Director of the Minnesota Zoo, “The white tiger controversy among zoos is a small part ethics and a large part economics. The tiger Species Survival Plan has condemned breeding white tigers because of their mixed ancestry, most have been hybridized with other subspecies and are of unknown lineage, and because they serve no conservation purpose. Owners of white tigers say they are popular exhibit animals and increase zoo attendance and revenues as well. The same rationalization can be applied to the selective propagation of white lions, king cheetahs and other phenotypically aberrant animals.”
“However, there is an unspoken issue that shames the very integrity of zoos, their alleged conservation programs and their message to the visiting public. To produce white tigers or any other phenotypic curiosity, directors of zoos and other facilities must continuously inbreed father to daughter and father to granddaughter and so on. At issue is a contradiction of fundamental genetic principles upon which all Species Survival Plans for endangered species in captivity are based.
White tigers are an aberration artificially bred and proliferated by some zoos, private breeders and a few circuses who do so for economic rather than conservation reasons.”
Dr. Tilson made these feedback earlier than I knowledgeable him that each one the white tigers within the U.S. are crossbred or hybrid animals, half Siberian and half Bengal. So, in conclusion, each white tiger within the U.S. shouldn’t be solely the results of repeated inbreeding of genetically faulty animals however, even worse,
is a hybrid or crossbred animal. Thus, anybody concerned in breeding and/or exhibiting white tigers is doing a fantastic disservice to trustworthy conservation and preservation efforts to save lots of the 5 remaining and endangered subspecies of tigers barely clinging to survival of their quickly diminishing pure habitats.
The genealogical misrepresentation, repeated inbreeding, exhibition and sale, for $60,000 every, of white tigers by the Cincinnati Zoo initiated the best conservation deception of the American public in historical past. That deception continues by means of at present. For my part, exhibiting and breeding white tigers is the very antithesis of conservation, is dishonest and unethical and is tantamount to catering to the general public’s want to see genetic aberrations slightly than educating the general public relating to the unimaginable strategy of pure choice, how the unbelievable variety of life has advanced on our planet all through the previous 50 million years and the essential want for us to protect pure habitats and cease the destruction of our international ecosystem if we want to save lots of any threatened or endangered species from extinction.
I hope this info helps inform guests to your web site.
Daniel C. Laughlin, DVM, PhD
Notice: Dr. Laughlin is widely known internationally for his experience within the care and administration of zoological animals, particularly zoological cats and elephants. He has a world consulting follow restricted to zoological animals and when he accomplished his analysis into the correct family tree of the white tiger he had properly over 250 tigers in his apply alone. He additionally accomplished a landmark four-year research within the 1970’s figuring out the efficacy, dosage and security of a modified-live trivalent FVRC-P vaccine to be used on zoological cats. That research included 224 zoological cats representing 19 totally different species and the outcomes of that vaccination research have saved the lives of hundreds of captive zoological cats.
Dr. Laughlin has graciously agreed to be a Marketing consultant for the care and administration of our in depth assortment of zoological cats at “Big Cat Rescue.” Dated roughly 1997-1998.