Friday, November 20, 2009

White Tiger Killed by Lions in Liberec Zoo

A White Tiger has been tragically killed by two Lions in Liberec Zoo. It appears that both Lions and the Tiger shared the same enclosure but at alternating times. Somehow the dividing door failed and the cats got together. It is one of those unfortunate incidents that can happen anywhere, in any industry. A switch fails, a light bulb goes out, a computer glitch. We all learn by these things. I sympathise. I am sure we all sympathise.

There is of course a lot of press interest which I am now going to have a pick at.

Lions kill rare white tiger at Czech Republic zoo
"Two lions at a zoo in the northern Czech Republic have killed a rare white tigress after entering her enclosure."
"White tigers - the result of a recessive gene - find it difficult to catch prey in the wild because their colouration stands out in the jungle."

Rare perhaps in the Czech Republic but White Tigers are certainly not rare in captivity. There are 200 in one private zoo in China without considering those in other world zoos and in private hands.

Lions savage rare tigress in zoo
"Two lions tore to shreds an extremely rare white tigress after penetrating her cage in"
"The zoo in Liberec is the only establishment in the Czech republic to breed the white tiger, of which only a few dozen remain in the world."

So, "only a few dozen remain in the world". Interesting.

What about the 'wild'?

Is this the only white tiger cub in the wild? Newborn gets a bath from Mum in South Africa
"The reserve keep and breed the animals in an ongoing experiment to create a self-sustaining tiger population outside of the big cat’s normal home in Asia.
The tigers hunt for their own food in the several hundred hectare, electrified compound where they regularly kill animals such as wilderbeest and eland."

How do you/we define wild? These hunt and kill but live in a compound. Discuss in comments below.

And a bit of nonsense

Scaredy-cat tigers
Zoo-keepers in China say their tigers have grown so tame that they're frightened of the chickens they're supposed to eat.....


  1. Good to know that just one zoo in the Czech republic is bothering with the white tiggers, (I mean, I would argue in favour of preserving the colour variant of P.t.t., but generic whites? What's the point?

    The African experiment might be somewhat helpful in determining to what degree the colour might be a serious handicap to a tiger's hunting efforts. Might be interesting. But in Africa a tiger will be part of a feral population at most, and in this case it's still a caged tiger, though it has a cage larger than most zoos. That it is catching its own prey does not make it a wild animal. We have a scorpion sharing the exhibit with a breeding group of brown crickets, it hunts and eats other animals in the same cage, that is natural behaviour, but that does not change the fact that it is still an exotic animal in captivity.

  2. RIP - Isabella, 17, was a rare white tiger who took turns using an outdoor zoo area w/ a pair of lions. Instinct marked her as an invader, so they snuck back in for the kill.