I was thinking about my book "Tiger Loses His Stripes" over the last few days and I got to wondering if there really are tigers without stripes. So I decided to do a bit of research and would you believe it?
There really is at least one tiger without stripes!
A female tiger named Fareeda was born on Christmas day in 2009. She has no stripes other than those on her tail. To add to her beautiful peculiarity, Fareeda is a white tiger. She has two siblings who have the distinct tiger stripes and she is the first white Bengal tiger born in Africa.
Fareeda was hand reared at the Cango Wildlife Ranch near Cape Town in South Africa in a breeding program which is focused on keeping White Bengal tigers alive.
It is important to note that White Bengal tigers are not albino. They have distinctive blue eyes and were found in North India before they died out.
Staff at the Cango Wildlife ranch stated that it is important to educate people about tigers and the importance of keeping the breeding programs going and they hope that one day the tigers can be returned to their native habitat to breed and survive in the wild again.
Only a few hundred White Bengal tigers are alive in captivity around the world today.
Let us hope that the species can increase in numbers and eventually be given a peaceful and safe home in the wild.
Images and information sourced from www.telegraph.co.uk and www.dailymail.co.uk