The Washington Park Zoo is proud to announce the birth of two male white tiger cubs on May 14, 2014. This is the first birth for our white tiger female Zusha who came to the zoo on January 25, 2010 as a 12 day old female cub from Wildwood Wildlife Park, in Minocqua, Wisconsin. The white adult male parent, Zeus was obtained from the World Wild Life Zoo in Litchfield, Arizona on November 6, 2010 as a four month old cub.
The parents and cubs are white color variations of the Bengal tiger. White tiger cubs are produced when the recessive gene for the color white is inherited from both parents, therefore two white tigers mated together produce only white cubs. White tigers are not albinos and have bright blue eyes and are referred to as sports.
Out of the five major zoos in Indiana, Potawatomi Zoo in South Bend is the only other zoo exhibiting a white tiger (an 18 year old female).
The first white tiger in captivity was Mohan who was born in India in 1951. A group of villagers noticed a white cub among orange litter mates and reported this to the Maharaja who sent them out to collect this tiger. The first captive birth of white tigers was on October 30, 1958 in India when Mohan was bred to one of his orange-colored daughters producing 1 male and 3 female all white cubs. One of these females was named Mohini, and on December 5, 1960 German-American billionaire John Kluge purchased Mohini and donated her to the Smithsonian National Zoological Park in Washington, D.C. as a gift to the children of America. Our male Zeus is a direct descendant from the Mohini bloodline.
Zusha and her cubs will be off display for at least 4 months until the cubs have developed their running and walking abilities. We will be setting up a video feed from their den area to an outside monitor for visitors to view.