Rare white Bengal tiger born in Nicaragua zoo to be raised by humans

Meet ‘Nieve’– snow in Spanish – the rare white Bengal tiger born at the Nicaragua zoo who is being raised by humans after she was rejected by her mother

  • Nieve is the first white Bengal tiger born in the Central American country 
  • The cub was born last week weighing two pounds to a yellow and black tiger
  • White tigers’ parents carry a recessive gene and are ‘genetic anomalies’
  • Nieve is being raised by the zoo director’s wife after her mother rejected her 

A rare white Bengal tiger named Nieve, Spanish for snow, has been born in a Nicaraguan zoo.

The female cub is being raised by the zoo director’s wife after its mother rejected it.  

Nieve is the first white Bengal tiger born in the Central American country.

A rare white Bengal tiger named Nieve, Spanish for snow, has been born in a Nicaraguan zoo

Her mother, a yellow-and-black Bengal tiger, was rescued from a circus five years ago, but could not produce milk to feed the cub. 

Nieve was born last week, weighing just over two pounds at birth, director Eduardo Sacasa said.

Conservation group WWF describes white tigers as ‘a genetic anomaly’, with none known to exist in the wild. There are several dozen in captivity.

White tigers are Bengal tigers whose parents carry a recessive gene, according to The Wildcat Sanctuary in Minnesota which helps and studies felines. 

Her mother, a yellow-and-black Bengal tiger, was rescued from a circus five years ago, but could not produce milk to feed the cub

Nieve was born last week, weighing just under one kilogram at birth, and is being raised by the zoo director’s wife

They are not albinos or a separate species.

Some parks and zoos inbreed white tigers, as white cubs draw more visitors, though this is often at the cost of malformations and other genetic problems, states the sanctuary website. 

The cub’s mother, rescued after she was abandoned by the circus, had inherited the rare gene from her grandfather, who was white.

Nieve was taken away from her mother, who rejected her, and is being bottle-fed by Sacasa’s wife, Marina Arguello, who helps manage the zoo of some 700 animals and a rescue centre.

Arguello said: ‘She has not lost her appetite; every three hours she gets the bottle. If not, she screams… also if the milk gets too cold.’

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