As protected endangered species, tigers are among the most endangered and rare, with six tiger species listed in the endangered species list.
So when news when the Yalta Zoo based in Yalta, Ukraine celebrated the birth of four tiger cubs – four white tiger cubs – broke out, a lot of attention was directed towards the zoo, particularly on its tiger breeding program.
In most cases, two or three in one-time litters of white tiger cubs are known to occur. The four white tiger cub number in one litter is a rarity in itself, with white tigers themselves already being rare in the first place.
Known as a recessive mutant of the Bengal Tiger specie, white tigers are physically identified through their white and black stripes. As creatures, they have become part of various ancient and current traditional and modern pop culture trends, from being embodied forms of deities to representations of positive virtues and beliefs.
Rare in the wild, most instances of white tigers happen in captive ecosystems and environments, where monitoring and breeding population is regularly recorded. However, wild white tigers are known to be present in the wild.
In terms of estimates, one in every 15,000 Bengal Tigers are born as white tigers.
Having said that, the four white tigers born in the Yalta Zoo are truly rare births.