How Many White Tigers are Left In The World Today ? - Why Are They Endangered?
Updated: 02 Feb 2021
It is a commonly asked question, how many white tigers are left in the world?
According to the Indian Tiger Welfare Society, there are currently only 200 white tigers left in the world in 2022. Sadly, there are no wild white tigers in the world.
First, we would like to know what a white tiger is. White tigers, which we sometimes call white Bengal tigers, are not a subspecies of the Bengal tiger, just a variation.
When a rare mutation occurs in the genetic material called leucism in Bengal tigers, it results in white tigers. Mutations in this gene cause white hairy skin. For this reason, the usual golden or reddish-brown eyes are replaced by unusual blue eyes. But this is not albinism. A certain amount of special pigment is always present in the fur of white tigers. Both parents must possess the required gene to produce this kind of baby.
How Many White Tigers Are Left In The World?
There are 200 white tigers left in the world now. However, according to an estimate, the number of white tigers was 200 in 2021, and their number did not increase in 2022. Therefore, experts are trying to increase the white tigers population and keep them safe.
Along with white tigers, only six black tigers are believed to exist in the world. Black tigers are a color variation of the typical orange tiger, not a separate species. These melanistic tigers are born with strong black stripes covering their orange fur, sometimes giving them the appearance of being entirely black.
There are approximately 13,000 tigers alive in the world today, including all subspecies. There are still more than 5,000 wild tigers. Of those, 3,500 are Bengal cats, primarily found in India. Additionally, there are still around 8,000 tigers living in captivity. To preserve them in good numbers, their keepers breed them. Five thousand of these tigers are kept in zoos and theme parks only in the United States. They are occasionally kept as pets.
White tigers give birth every two to three years. They can have litters with up to 5 cubs. The adult cubs leave their mother after spending 18 months with her to start a new life.
White tigers are very rare in the wild and in captivity. The white tiger is the result of a genetic mishap that happens when two orange tigers with rare recessive alleles of a gene attempt to mate. The last known wild white tiger was killed in 1958, and they are incredibly rare in the wild, having been observed a few times in recorded history. Parents only give birth to a white tiger once per 10,000, which makes them extremely rare in the wild. Mother Nature purges them because they are a harmful genetic mutation.
According to white tigers' facts, their habitat consists of mangrove swamps and dense jungles. Mostly white tigers live and are found in the Indian subcontinent, in Bangladesh, Nepal, and Bhutan.
Both Bengal tigers with different colors are strong animals. They may weigh up to 600 pounds and have bodies that can reach a length of 10 feet. They are not the biggest, though! Siberian tigers are even larger, with a maximum size of about 11 feet and a maximum weight of about 800 pounds. White tigers may live up to 20 years in captivity and normally live between 10 and 15 years in the wild.
Like other Bengal tigers, white tigers are aggressive and effective predators. They depend on the flesh of other animals to thrive since they are carnivores. They like to eat goats, cattle, deer, and wild boars. As apex predators, humans are their only known natural foes.
Are white tigers endangered?
Sadly, white tigers are listed as endangered. As long as there are Bengal tigers that carry the recessive gene, white Bengal tigers will exist. However, the probability of naturally producing white offspring decreases as the Bengal population declines. Since white tigers are not a subspecies but rather a genetic variant, Bengal tigers must continue to exist for white tigers to survive.
There are several reasons why white tigers are endangered. Poachers have historically been a severe issue in trophy hunting since they want the tigers' fur, heads, and other body parts. Retaliatory killings after the deaths of people or animals have also played a role. Sadly, both Bengal and white Bengal tigers are now more at risk of going extinct due to the destruction of their habitat through deforestation.
White tigers are rare in the wild because some people want them as unusual pets. Zoos also contribute by putting on displays of white tigers to entertain visitors.