Things About Tigers

Friday, November 02, 2007

I'm doing research on animals for the African Safari tomorrow, and learned a few things about tigers I never knew before. (Okay, I learned stuff about all the animals, but I'm gonna share these two things about tigers!)

For the safari, I purchased a whole bunch of "safari" stuffed animals at the drug store. I will give each child a "Safari Guide" with fact sheets about the different animals, and we have to go find them and take a picture. (A pretend picture--there will be enough photos of the real animal to go around with each stuffed one.) They will then slip the photo into their little album next to the fact sheet for a cool "Photo-Safari Souvenir" to take home.

Today, I was blithely researching all the different animals I had purchased for the fact sheets, and came to the little baby white tiger at the end. It was then that I discovered these two interesting, plan-kiboshing facts.

  1. Tigers are native to Asia, not Africa.
  2. There is no such breed as a white tiger. There are only Bengali or Siberian tigers that have been bred with each other, then severely interbred for generations upon generations to bring out the recessive white gene. This also makes all white tigers cross-eyed, and stupid, therefore a great cash draw for entertainers--they are more dependent on their trainers because of their eyesight issues, more workable because they are dumb, and a bigger draw because of the white coat. For every white tiger that makes it to adulthood and the bigtime, there are scores who are so deformed at birth that they are born dead, die within weeks, or are not even "white", so are therefore unwanted. This Big Cat Rescue site was most informative on the topic.
I'll be back with more about the party tomorrow.

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  1. I read in a book once that all white animals are actually mentally ill, or something like that. Abnormal, anyway; so abnormal that the author recommended avoiding them. Interesting, huh? I used to watch a cartoon when I was little called Simba, the White Lion. OH, I loved that show.

  2. Does that include white rabbits? And goats? And horses?

    Interesting idea. Is it just albinos, or those that are white by breeding (poodles? Poodles are definitely abnormal.)

    And I loved that show, too! Japanese animation, right? Or am I getting that confused with Astro-Boy?


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