A golden tiger is one with an extremely rare color variation caused by a recessive gene that is currently only found in captive tigers.
The animal is extraordinarily rare, with global estimates from the World Wildlife Fund hovering around 30 in the year 2011. All known golden tigers live in captivity, usually in wildlife refuges or parks. Zoos rarely house them, in part because of how scarce they are.The golden tiger’s coat is a blend of white,cream, and pale orange fur. Its stripes aretypically rust-colored. There are currentlybelieved to be fewer than 30 of these rare tigersin the world. The hope is that someday they willregenerate enough to be more widelydistributed or, perhaps, even re-released intothe wild.
They eat the same food as usual tigers. When they roamed in the wild,golden tigers were often believed to carry magical or mystical qualities.They were the subject of legend and lore throughout much of Asia, butmost notably in India and China. These tigers were always rare to beginwith, but decreased rapidly in population in large part because ofhunting and poaching. Pelts from a golden tiger fetched much higherprices than those of ordinary black and orange tigers, and were prizedby emperors and rajahs.