The White Bengal Tiger – Panthera Tigris Tigris – has a mutation in the gene that produces the yellow and red pigment which produces the orange colour for which Bengal tigers are naturally known for. White Bengal Tigers lack this pigment and are therefore white. This lack of Red and yellow pigment should not be confused with albinism. If it were albinism this tiger would also not have the darker blackish stripes. Tigers that have hardly any visible stripes are known as “Pure White” Or “Snow White” tigers.
White Bengal tigers are usually also bigger than Bengal Tigers that have the orange colouration. The mutant gene that these tigers carry is also the reason why White Bengal Tigers often suffer from other genetic defects. They could have crossed eyes and clubbed feet. The white Bengal tiger at Jukani has Progressive retinal atrophy.
Tigers love swimming and the White Bengal tiger can often be seen swimming in its dam. Bengal Tigers are from the tropics and of course in the tropics, where there is a lot of rivers and streams, swimming is an advantage.