19×24 Colored pencil and this one’s not going ANYWHERE!!
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I must tell you, while I was working on the bridge of his nose.. just doing these little circles.. there was such a feeling of peace and contentment. I don’t think I’ve ever felt that way before. Now, every time I look at him.. that feeling comes back. This one visits various rooms in my house but mostly it stays nearby and it will never leave me.
White tigers are individual specimens of the ordinary orange tiger (Panthera tigris), with a genetic condition that causes paler coloration of the normally orange fur (they still have black stripes). The condition is well-documented in the Bengal tiger subspecies (Panthera tigris tigris or P. t. bengalensis), may also have occurred in captive Siberian tigers (Panthera tigris altaica), and may have been reported historically in several other subspecies. White pelage is most closely associated with the Bengal, or Indian subspecies. Tigers in India are recognized as a single subspecies, but within India, and throughout the tiger’s geographic range they tend to be smaller, darker, and more densely striped the further south they are found, the Sumatran and now extinct Javan and Bali races being the smallest. The Bengal is the nominate subspecies or species type, the definitive tiger. For many years it was the kind most commonly seen in the West. It was the standard issue zoo and circus tiger, and it was the Bengal tiger which conformed most fully to the image of a tiger in the Western psyche. It was the tiger of Kipling and the Raj. The Bengal tiger used to be known as the “Royal Bengal tiger”, after it was hunted by the Duke of Windsor when he was Prince of Wales. Siegfried and Roy sometimes refer to their white tigers as “royal white tigers”, possibly because of the white tiger’s association with the Maharaja of Rewa. The French language version of the white tiger Wikipedia is titled “Tigre blanc royal” or “Royal white tiger.” The white individuals do not constitute a separate subspecies on their own. They have pink noses, white to cream-coloured fur, and black, grey or chocolate-coloured stripes, grey mottled skin, and ice blue eyes. White tigers tend to be born larger and attain larger than average adult sizes than orange tigers which do not carry the white gene. This may have given them an advantage in the wild. White gene carriers, or heterozygotes, also tend to be larger than average in size. K.S. Sankhala, who was director of the New Delhi Zoo in the 1960s, said that one of the functions of the white gene may have been to keep a size gene in the population, in case it was ever needed. In the wild white tigers bred white for generations. It is a myth that white tigers did not thrive in the wild and India once planned to reintroduce them.
The condition occurs when in-breeding — usually between parents and cubs — produces offspring with two copies of a recessive gene. This is rare in nature, but with their unusual colouration, white tigers have become popular in zoos and entertainment that showcases exotic animals. For example, the magicians Siegfried and Roy are famous for having used trained white tigers in their performances. However, inbreeding often also leads to birth defects, which makes breeding for white colour controversial. Although it is actually possible to create white tigers without inbreeding, such cases are exceedingly rare.
Nevertheless, there are several hundred white tigers in captivity worldwide, and their numbers are on the increase. The French language version of the white tiger Wikipedia article puts the number at 800. There are about 100 white tigers in India. The modern population includes both pure Bengals and hybrid Bengal–Siberians, but it is unclear whether the recessive gene for white came from any of the Siberian ancestors, or only from Bengals.
Another genetic condition makes the stripes of the tiger very pale. White tigers with this condition are called snow-white. (information from Wikipedia)