Mating - Page 1: In The Wild | 2: Fighting for a Female | 3&4: Copulation | 5&6: In Captivity
The majority of wild tiger populations consist of fewer than the required 100 cats needed to maintain the species properly. Of these tigers, only about 40 per cent go to make up the entire breeding population so incest has become inevitable. When father-daughter or mother-son matings occur this then leads to genetic problems.
Studies have shown father-daughter couplings are less of an issue than mother-son matings.
All species, including humans, are genetically closer in type to the mother than the father. This relates to the fact that the mother carries the offspring.
Inbreeding is a trend which also occurs in many zoos; this is despite the tiger breeding registers which were designed to avoid this very problem.
Effects of inbreeding:
The more obvious results of inbreeding include blindness, sway backs, short legs and cleft palate. This is a problem with the roof of the mouth where incomplete closure means the cub cannot suckle properly. (This problem also occurs in human infants and is corrected with an operation). Long term, the ultimate result of inbreeding is lower cub birth and survival rates.
With Thanks To Hasuda