Bengal tiger to be mated with two white tigresses

White tigers are merely recessive mutants of Bengal tigers and on repeated mating among themselves, reproduce only white ones.

Updated: Apr 25, 2012, 23:37 PM IST

Chennai: In a first such initiative in India to arrest the dwindling number of Bengal tigers, a Bengal tiger with be allowed to mate with two white tigresses to produce "strong yellow skinned offspring".

A separate enclave has been set up in the campus for Bengal tiger Vijay and the white tigresses Akansha and Namrutha at Arignar Anna Zoological Park here, officials said.

"White tigers are merely recessive mutants of Bengal tigers and on repeated mating among themselves, reproduce only white ones. This will end up having white tigers with less immunity. As an attempt to stop producing less immune white tigers and to stop dwindling numbers of Bengal tigers, we have taken this step for the first time in the country," a zoo official said.

"Going by this attempt, the first generation cubs would be yellow-skinned Bengal tigers with strong immunity. And thereby following the same procedure for tigers born through this attempt, there was a 50 per cent chance of them reproducing strong white tigers," the official said.

There are three Bengal tigers and nine white tigers in the 1490-acre zoo, the largest zoological park in the country.

PTI