Rare white tiger makes debut
9 August 2004 , MADRID - An extremely rare white Bengal tiger cub has been born at the recuperation centre for wild animals, El Arca (the Ark) at Benimantell near Alicante.
9 August 2004
MADRID - An extremely rare white Bengal tiger cub has been born at the recuperation centre for wild animals, El Arca (the Ark) at Benimantell near Alicante.
The animal, which has no stripes and clear blue eyes, is one of little more than 20 registered around the world, said the centre's director Sefafín Doménech.
One of a "subspecies" that no longer exists in the wild, the cub, named "Artico", was born three months ago when it weighed in at just 700 grammes.
Since then it has reached 9 kilograms, and is now past the most dangerous period for young tigers, said Doménech.
Artico is the son of two of the centre's ordinary Bengal tigers, a male "Excalibur" which was presented by a Barcelona family which couldn't maintain his upkeep, and "Cristina", which was loaned by a Madrid shop after injuring a customer.
White tigers in the wild rarely live long as their lack of camouflage colours makes it difficult for them to catch their prey, and at the same time makes them an easier target for illegal hunters, said Doménech.
The skin and eye colour is genetic, and is usually associated with "internal anomalies" that could cause problems with "Artico's" metabolism, he added.
To care for the cub, the centre has designed a special diet that includes vitamins, glucose and yoghurt.
El Arca is the only centre of its kind in Spain. It houses more than 280 examples of 55 different species that have been collected from as far afield as Belgium.
Occupying an area of some 80,000 square metres, the collection includes various species of big cats, monkeys, camels, bears and an anaconda.
Most of the animals have been donated by individuals or circuses that could no longer keep them.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news