Yesterday the Chilean National Zoo in Santiago debuted five rare white tiger cubs. White cubs often create media sensations but frequently the news reports get the facts wrong. Many articles about these cubs suggest white tigers are a distinct subspecies or that they are albinos as in this coverage from Fox News. Neither of these are the case. In fact, white tigers are either Bengal tigers or Bengal-Siberian tiger mixes that have two recessive genes for pale coloration. While orange tigers with recessive genes do occasionally breed in the wild creating a white tiger, it is much more common for them to be bred for this characteristic.
Above photo credit: Reuters
Photo credits (pictures 2-5): Associated Press