All world’s Bengal tiger types reared at wildlife centre

Avatar BCR | April 14, 2009 0 Likes 0 Ratings

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There is only one species of tiger in the world – Panthera tigris.

There are nine subspecies, of which three, The Bali, Javan, and Caspian are extinct, with the six remaining being the Amur, Bengal, South China, Indo-Chinese, Malayan and Sumatran.

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Please Note: The following article contains misinformation.

All world’s Bengal tiger types reared at wildlife centre

A wildlife centre has raised a collection of the rarest tigers on the planet, including the only known complete group of all four varieties of Bengal tiger.

Last Updated: 4:09PM BST 14 Apr 2009

The Institute of Greatly Endangered and Rare Species (T.I.G.E.R.S.), in South Carolina, has animals of the Royal Standard Bengal (which is orange and black), the Royal White Bengal (white with black stripes), the Snow White Bengal (all white or with ghost stripes), and the Golden Tabby Bengal (red to pale orange cream stripes and saddle).

The wildlife education organisation, which hand-rears its tigers, has 67 at its base in Myrtle Beach, which it claims is the largest group of ‘working’ tigers in the world.

Dr Bhagavan Antle said: “Standard Bengal tigers are found throughout India, Loas, Cambodia, Thailand and Malaysia, where there have been an enormous drop in populations and there only a few thousand remaining.

“It is thought thousands of years ago tigers originally came from Siberia, where they were orange and black. But during the last Ice Age tigers were forced to migrate south as far the island of Bali and west to the Caspian Sea.

“During this great migration, tigers went through many adaptations in order to fit into very specific environments.

“Over time they became smaller in size and unique colour changes helped them adapt to specific ecological niches.”

There are now only around 300 to 400 Royal White tigers left in the world, which all live in captivity; only 30 Golden Tabby tigers; around 10,000 Royal Standard Bengal tigers left in captivity with two to four thousand in the wild; and around just a dozen Snow White tigers, four of which are at the centre.

Dr Antle said: “Historically all of these tigers started disappearing at the turn of the century. So there have been only sporadic reports from explorers and locals who saw these animals in the wild.

“These types of tigers were always in very small numbers and found throughout south east Asia in specialised niches.

“But in previous centuries, these types of Bengals were seen in India, North Korea, throughout south east Asia and even up to Iraq and Iran.”

Dr Antle added: “Like human photographs, you can see the difference in their age as some of them look a little more grizzled and haggard than others.

“Tigers do have a tendency to stay pristine generally for the first seven or eight years of their lines.

“After this point they start to get more character as gravity takes effect.”

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