11 Amazing White Tiger Facts for Kids [UPDATED Facts]
The white tigers are also known as the white Bengal tigers as they are the same species. They have unique physical features such as blue eyes, pink nose and white fur.
There are many such interesting facts about the white tigers. We have listed some of the amazing white tiger facts for kids in this article. Read on to get insights about these beautiful wild cats.
11 Most Interesting & Fun Facts about White Tigers for Kids
As many might think that the white tigers are a different species but that is not the case. They are Bengal tiger species only and are born out of a rare genetic mutation.
If you want to read more about the Bengal tigers then refer to our article – 11 Fascinating Facts about Bengal Tigers for Kids. Let us know more about the white tigers below.
1. They grow faster than the other species
White tigers tend to grow faster and bigger than the other tiger species. They are bigger than the other species since their birth and continue growing larger. They reach their full-grown size when they reach the ages of about 2-3 years old.
Their stripes are unique like other tigers and if their fur is shaved off the stripes would still show on their skin and regrow into their fur. They are very versatile creatures who adapt to their surroundings very well.
2. The reason for their being white
The white tigers are born because of a genetic mutation. Only one white tiger is born out of 10,000 tigers. Their fur is white because of the lack of a pigment which is known as pheomelanin that is present in other orange tigers.
Both the parents need to have the recessive white colour gene which would result in their white coloured tiger cub. The white tiger also has an enzyme in their bodies that causes its skin to grow dark in colder temperatures. This is linked to their weak immune systems.
3. White tigers are great swimmers
White tigers are carnivorous animals and they are known for hunting on both land and in water. They are excellent swimmers and they can hunt down animals that are larger than them in size as well.
They hunt on animals such as wild cattle, monkeys, deers and birds. They can eat 40 pounds of meat in a single meal. A white tiger does not hunt daily. It takes few days after hunting and eating a meal before it starts hunting again.
4. White tigers prefer large spaces
The white tigers love to roam freely in the wilds and would require around 20 square miles to roam around, live and hunt. This large space allows them to have enough prey to survive.
The white tigers are different from the orange ones as the orange tigers find it easy to blend into their surroundings whereas the white tigers can be spotted a little easier than the orange ones. They mark their territories with urine and claw marks on trees.
5. Taking care of the cubs
The white tigress is very concerned with taking care of its little ones. The tigress is mature at the age of around 3 years to produce cubs. The pregnancy lasts for a period of three and a half months. After that, three to four cubs are born in a single litter, but not all the cubs stay alive.
The cubs are dependent on their mother for at least a year and a half. After that, they start hunting independently, living with their families until they are 2 – 3 years old. After that, they separate themselves and live a solitary life.
6. They are solitary animals
Like the other tiger species, white tigers are solitary animals. They are territorial and protect their boundaries from the intrusion of other tigers. They spend the early evenings protecting their territories and the rest of the night hunting for prey.
Their excellent vision and hearing abilities make them able to navigate through the wild in the darker hours. They wait patiently in the bushes and other hiding spots to catch their prey by surprise and not giving them the chance to escape.
7. The first white tiger
The white tigers have been in the wild since the 1800s, as per various documented reports. The first case of a white tiger that humans captured was in India.
In 1951, the ruler of the state, Rewa, Maharaja Martand Singh, became the first human who captivated a white tiger. This white tiger was named Mohan. Mohan was used for breeding more white tigers in captivity.
White tigers are also kept as exotic pets by private owners.
8. The unethical breeding of white tigers
In nature, only one white tiger is born out of 10,000. But the extraordinary features of the white tigers have made the humans greedy and adopt unethical measures for breeding more white tiger populations.
White tigers earn them more money in zoos and circuses. The unethical breeding results in cubs that are often born unhealthy and die soon after being born. They are also born with congenital disabilities such as crossed eyes, deformed spines, and weaker immunity.
9. There is no record of white tigers in the wild
Today, all the known white tigers are in captivity. There are no records since the 1900s that show that there might be some living in the wilds. But as long as we have a Bengal tiger population in the wild, there is a fair chance of a white tiger being born.
The tiger parents just need to have the required gene. It is also estimated that there might be some white tigers in the wild that humans have not spotted.
10. The habitats of the white tigers
The white tigers were once found throughout India and its neighbouring countries. With a decrease in the Bengal tiger population, there has been a decrease in the white tiger population as well.
The white tigers inhabit tropical forests, mangrove swamps, and moist jungles. They prefer spaces with dense vegetation and water sources. They also need spaces that could hide them well so that they can protect themselves from the poachers and can hunt easily as well.
11. The threat to their population
Being powerful, fierce, and large animals, there are no predators of white tigers. The real threat to them is the humans who have been mistreating them for centuries. The poachers also hunt them for their expensive fur, which is more expensive than the fur of the orange tigers.
They are beautiful beasts with features like a pink nose and blue eyes, which are different from the other tigers. Due to this reason, they are captivated by the greedy humans who earn money through them.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
White tigers have white fur due to a recessive genetic mutation which is very rare.
The average male weighs around 420 – 570 pounds whereas the average female weighs around 350 pounds.
They can be 5 – 8 feet tall.
A white tiger can run at an average speed of 60 miles per hour.
The scientific name of the white tiger is Panthera tigris Tigris.
They are rare cases of double recessive genetic mutation and only one tiger in 10,000 have a chance of being white.
The babies of the white tiger are called cubs.
They are carnivorous animals feeding on wild boar, deer, antelope, yak, nilgai, sambar etc.
They are very less in population and all the known white tigers live in captivity.
White tigers are known to come from Bangladesh, Central India, Pakistan, Nepal, and Bhutan.
The white tigers can live up to 18 years in the wild and around 10 – 15 years in captivity.
The biggest enemy of the white tigers is humankind which captivates them and tries to breed more of them illegally. Besides humans, elephants, bears, and large buffaloes are its predators.
White tigers are white due to a rare genetic mutation and are not a different species that is endangered. They are Bengal tigers only and the entire population of Bengal tigers needs to be preserved.
These were the fascinating white tiger facts for kids. We hope that you found the article useful and knowledgeable. The white tigers need urgent protection from humans. Their right place is in the wilds and not in captivity.