Golden Tabby Tigers


Golden tabby tigers -- an aberration:

An extremely rare colouration, recognised by some experts, but considered an aberration by others, is that of the golden tiger, also known as the golden tabby, golden Bengal, or strawberry tiger. No official name has been designated for the colour.

As can be seen in the pictures shown here the golden tiger's white coat and gold patches make it stand out from the norm. The striping on these tigers is much paler than usual and often fades into spots or large prominent patches. Tabbies tend to be larger and have softer fur than their orange relatives.

As is the case with white tigers, the unusual golden colour is caused by a separate and distinct recessive gene. At last count there were under 30 of these rare tigers in the world.

Like their white cousins all golden tabby tigers have a Bengal parentage, though most are genetically polluted with the genes of other subspecies, commonly the Amur tiger. 

The suggestion that this colouration is caused through the deliberate breeding of Amur tigers with Bengals is a popular myth.

The golden tabby in the wild:

India has records of wild golden tigers which date back as far as the early 1900's. 

There have been suggestions that the tendency for this colouration gradually developed in a small group of tigers living in an area of heavy clay concentration. The unusual colour would provide these tigers with extra camouflage. The theory remains unproven.

It is now unlikely this colour will occur in the wild and survival for any tabby tigers which did occur would be perilous. Due to their coat colour cubs would be more obvious to predators and adults stand out to potential prey.

 (Continued Page 2)

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Photography With Thanks To Dreamworld (Photo 1)
Emmanuel Keller (Photos 2-3)
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