A white tiger at the Moscow Zoo, Russia
A winter wonder. White tiger on the prowl
Though there have been documented accounts of white tigers in the wild, they are extremely rare. This may be because white tigers – really Bengal tigers with missing pigmentation in their fur – are often born with birth defects that would decrease their survival rate in nature. Today, white tigers seen by humans are residents of zoos or exotic animal exhibits. Captive white tigers are somewhat controversial as the mutation is rare enough that many white tigers on display are the result of careful breeding.White tigers still have a strong mythological presence in many cultures, including in South Korea, where it’s a symbol of strength and trust. For this reason, the Korean Sport & Olympic Committee chose a white tiger as one of the mascots of the 2018 Winter Olympics.