One of the commonest form of coat colour mutation is albinism where the normal black colour pigments or melanins are absent. There are only two cases of true albino tigers on record. The so called "white tigers" are not true albinos as they do not have totally white fur and pink eyes, however the colouring is extremely diluted. The stripes are dark brown on a near-white fur, while the eyes are pale blue and their noses and paw pads are pink.
Such tigers are occasionally spotted in the wild and a young male was captured in Rewa state in India in 1951. All the white tigers in captivity are descended from this animal.
White tigers and normally coloured ones can occur in the same litter
White tigers without stripes also exist but are much rarer. These tigers are not albinos as they do not have pink eyes. One of these was exhibited in in the Exeter Menagerie in the early 1800s (Pocock,1939). The photo below of a white non-striped tiger is believed to have been taken in 1989 in the Similipal Reserve, Orissa.
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