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We saw this magnificent white tiger in a wildlife rehabilitation center in the United States. I don't like seeing animals out of their natural habitat, but all of these animals were rescued from circuses or zoos, and are not able to be returned to the wild.

Usually these places have signs by the animal enclosures so we can learn about the animals, but I didn't see any information there.

This especially intrigued me because I don't think I've ever seen a white tiger before, even on television.

Where does this breed of tiger usually live? What are some other important facts about it?

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All white tigers live in zoos. The last white tiger living in the wild was shot in 1958. (This breaks my heart.)

From a-z animals:

White Tiger Classification and Evolution The White Tiger (also known as the White Bengal Tiger) is a subspecies of Tiger, found throughout the Indian subcontinent. Although the range of the White Tiger is historically very large, these animals are incredibly rare as their colouration is dependent on a defective, recessive gene that is passed on from their parents.

A fellow cat-lover sent me an e-mail nearly two months ago about a "pale tiger" that had just been photographed in the wild.

From The Guardian:

Animal spotted by photographer in jungles of southern India may be the fairest known tiger living outside captivity.

Pale tigers, distinct from white tigers, are thought to have a genetic mutation that results in what biologists call colour morphism. It occurs in environments with large, random mating pools that allow for the varied exchange of genes.

Parvish Pandya, a doctor of zoology, said the birth of a tiger with pale fur was “quite a genetic chance”. He ruled out the possibility the tiger was albino, citing the lack of pinkish hue around its eyes.

Wright, who has spent decades in India tracking tigers, said she recalled only ever seeing one before, in the Ranthambore national park in Rajasthan in the 1980s. “But it wasn’t nearly as pale as this one,” she said.

The last white tiger in the wild was shot in 1958, and though some still live in public and private zoos, many suffer severe health problems due to a lack of genetic mixing.

Wright said the absence of white tiger genes in the wild meant the pale tiger in Tamil Nadu could be the fairest known tiger living outside captivity

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