tiger_rock.JPG REXANO Editorial by Zuzana Kukol  www.REXANO.org 

Las Vegas, NV (1/15/2008)–In the last few years, America has been sliding into the hole of political correctness, and the animal kingdom hasn’t been spared. Lately, the politically correct thing in the eyes of the so called self proclaimed ‘wildlife experts’ is to practice a type of animal racism against white tigers.

White tigers are not man made; the first white tiger occurred naturally in the wild, unlike dog breeds from Chihuahua to Great Dane that are completely man made. We don’t know how many wild ones survived to adulthood and how many were killed by hunters or predators, guessing that would be a pure speculation.

The fact remains white tiger is not man made, it occurs naturally in the wild. 

As Lynn Culver, the president of Feline Conservation Federation points out in her ‘Jihad Against White Tigers‘ January 2008 editorial, currently

“White tigers exist in captivity because of the human interest in this color mutation of the Bengal tiger. The hostility some delusional people have towards this color variation is hypocritical and detrimental to the species. All tigers, regardless of color, are critically endangered species. The world’s wild tiger population has declined from 100,000 a century ago to just 5,000 by 1990 and in the past decade, India has experienced a 50% further decline of its native tigers and there are only about 2,000 tigers left in that entire country.” 

Obviously, the wild tiger survival, regardless of the color variation, is very uncertain. To educate the public about white tigers, REXANO produced a humorous, yet educational YouTube video titled the ‘Diary of a White Tigress’. The video clearly shows the charisma these beautiful tigers have and the ease at which they can survive and be happy in captivity, and be therefore saved from extinction. 

The big AZA zoos can not do it all. As Lynn explains regarding the situation of Bengal tigers:

“Many normal colored Bengal tigers have been bred to white tigers in the 10 generations since the first white tiger Mohini arrived at the National Zoo, greatly increasing genetic diversity of this color variation. There is no AZA (American Zoo and Aquarium Association) Species Survival Plan for Bengal tigers, so there is no AZA interest in breeding white tigers in the USA. Only non-AZA zoos and private conservationists manage this color variation of the Bengal tiger. AZA zoos house approximately 150 Amur tigers, descendents of about 40 founders, and about 4-dozen of the Indo-Chinese and 5-dozen of the Sumatran tigers. These two sub-species have fewer than a dozen founders, and therefore are not true plans for survival.” 

Unfortunately, there is a current trend to ban private ownership of exotic animals, including tigers, in the USA. It is pushed for by naïve legislators and extreme animal right groups who claim to love animals. But if these animal rights activists truly loved animals, wouldn’t they be sending all their millions to conserve them instead of spending money on lobbyists and legislation to ban them in captivity and in effect regulate them to total extinction? How can somebody who claims ‘better dead than in captivity’ truly love animals? 

In Lynn’s own words: “No captive tigers will be returned to the wild. All tigers have a conservation value as research and educational animals. It is critically important that they be bred and managed in captivity and that enough captive habitats are available to insure genetic diversity. The attack on captive breeding by both the self-interested and by those ignorant of the facts, is threatening the only chance for survival these great cats have.” 

Tigers are not the only exotic animals that come in variety of colors. Small mammals like wallabies, raccoons, skunks and many reptiles and amphibians have been bred in variety of colors and color morphs. Many of them like albino alligator, bring crowds to the zoos, so why this hate of white tigers. Once the critics get rid of white tigers will the other exotic mammals and reptiles be next on the chopping block? And after that, will these whiners go after the dog breeds, which really are mane made? 

It is time for all animal owners to unite and fight the ever increasing intrusion into our personal life thru ridiculous animal legislation and bans being introduced in the last few years.


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