White Tigers Are Man-Made Genetic Freaks

White Tiger

[credit provider=”Flickr/JackFiallos” url=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/erlingfiallos/500979330/”]

The majestic beasts in that image to the right are not an endangered species. They aren’t special snow-living tigers. Rather they are a mutant tiger created through human-forced inbreeding, reports Jackson Landers of Slate. They should not be bred and allowed to go extinct, he writes.

The white tiger isn’t an albino. It isn’t a separate species. It’s just a regular tiger that has two extremely rare recessive genes.

As William Conway, former director of the New York Zoological Association, said correctly many years ago: “White tigers are freaks.”

The white colour isn’t the only result of their maladaptive genes: most are cross eyed; their brains have trouble processing images, which means they end up bumping into objects; they have kidney problems, clubbed feet, and shortened tendons.

The genetic freak that is the white tiger is bred ONLY for human entertainment. They would NEVER survive in the wild, Landers contests in his article. 

All the money that zoos spend breeding and keeping white tigers could instead be used to help actually endangered tiger populations: Only about 4,000 tigers remain in the wild, while tens of thousands are captive in zoos.

Read Landers’ full piece at Slate >