How rare are white tigers?

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    White tigers are extremely rare.  A white tiger is simply a bengal tiger with recessive genes that sap the orange color (and occasionally, the black color as well) from their fur.  To be a white tiger, a bengal tiger has to receive ONLY recessive genes for this trait from its parents.

    In the wild, this is rare in and of itself simply because the mutation is extremely rare.  In addition, being white is a disadvantage for wild tigers because the orange and black pattern is a tiger’s camouflage, so many white tigers do not live to pass on their genes.

    In captivity, though, white tigers are specifically bred to be white because people enjoy seeing them.

    In the wild, white tigers are extinct.  The last wild white tiger seen was shot in 1958.

    Even in captivity, white tigers are functionally endangered.

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