A snow white Bengal tiger born without stripes is believed to be the only such animal living in the wild. The six-month-old cub is so rare it is thought there are fewer than 20 others like it - all in captivity. The female tiger, which has been named Fareeda, was born to two white Bengal tigers. Fareeda's brother Shahir and sister Sitarah both bear the typical black tiger stripes in common with 99 per cent of their species. Fareeda, who was hand-reared by keepers at Cango Wildlife Ranch, near Cape Town, South Africa, is part of a unique breeding program to keep the White Bengal species alive.
Keepers at the ranch were delighted when Fareeda and its siblings were born on Christmas Day last year, but even more surprised to see Fareeda's rare lack of markings. Odette Claassen, 52, from Cango Wildlife Ranch, said the keepers had to wait six months before they could be sure Fareeda definitely did not have stripes.She said: "Some cubs develop stripes in their first few months but after six months it's clear that Fareeda is truly one of the rarest of her kind."