09 April 2016

White tigers born in Subic theme park

Two tiger cubs are now the stars of the show in an animal theme park here: the first white tigers to be born in captivity at Zoobic Safari, one of the most popular tourist attractions in this premier free port.

According to Veterinary Doctor Cherique Favor-Smith, Titan and Apollo, both males, were born on March 16 at Zoobic Safari’s veterinary clinic and are currently in good health.

(Clockwise from left) [1] Titan, one of two white tigers born in Subic last month, is carried by an animal
caretaker at the Zoobic Safari in Subic Bay Freeport. [2] Apollo and Titan, two white tigers cubs born in
captivity last month, are now the stars of the show of the theme park. [3] Apollo sleeps peacefully under the
watch of veterinarian Dr. Cherique Favor-Smith.

The newly-born white tigers are part of a pack that consists of only three other adult white tigers. Currently, there are more than 40 Bengal tigers inside Zoobic Safari, and only five are white.

According to Smith, white tigers are usually born in captivity and the color of their fur is not an abnormality.

Both Titan and Apollo, she added, are products of inbreeding, with parents Icy and Snowy, female and male, respectively. The result was the two cute balls of fur.

The other white tiger in the pack is Mate, who was also donated by a prince from the United Arab Emirates.

The so-called white tiger is a pigmentation variant of the Bengal tiger, which is reported in the wild from time to time in the Indian states of Assam, Bengal, Bihar, Sunderbans, and especially in the former State of Rewa.

The white Bengal tigers are distinctive due to the color of their fur, which is caused by the lack of the pigment pheomelanin, which gives the orange fur color of the Bengal tigers.

Compared to the ordinary Bengal tigers, the white Bengals tend be somewhat bigger at birth and as fully grown adults, grow faster and heavier.

Animal experts consider white Bengal tigers to be fully grown when they are two to three years of age. White male tigers reach weights of 200 to 230 kilograms and can grow up to three meters long.

As with all tigers, the white Bengal tiger’s stripes are like fingerprints, with no two tigers having the same pattern. The stripes of the tiger are a pigmentation of the skin; if an individual were to be shaved, its distinctive coat pattern would still be visible. (JRR/MPD-SBMA)