Unseen Passage: White Tiger

The white tiger is an offspring of Bengal tiger, which has the necessary gene for white coloring. It has beautiful black stripes on a white coat. This species of animal has blue eyes and a pink nose.

A pure white tiger is totally white without any stripe, which is due to the presence of double recessive allele in the genetic code. It happens only in the Bengal tiger subspecies, and only one in 10,000 births can have it naturally. White tigers are rarely seen in the wild, and only twelve of them have been spotted in India since last one-hundred years. Tigers have a life-span of 10-15 years. They are solitary animals, and are fond of hunting at night. Their diet consists of any animals that they can catch, and can eat up to 40 pounds of meat at one time. After such a big meal, they usually remain away for several days from food.

They are slow runners, but good swimmers. They are poor climbers and cannot climb a tree easily. They live in an area ranging from 10 to 30 square miles depending upon the availability of prey, water and shelter. Habitat loss, poaching and expansion of human population have together contributed to their becoming endangered. They are widely hunted for their body-parts, which are used in traditional Chinese medicines.

Genetic inbreeding is another reason for their endangerment. Due to shortage in their number, this species of animal has been subjected to inbreeding. It has resulted in high mortality rates and severe disabilities. About 80 percent of the white tiger cubs are born with serious birth-defects related to inbreeding, and they soon die-off.

The critical condition of this animal has attracted the attention of conservationists worldwide. World Wildlife Federation (WWF), defenders of wildlife, and many other wildlife organizations are working with the support of the government for the cause of protecting them from becoming extinct. Once they become extinct, it will not be possible to bring them back to life.

Answer the following questions:

  1. What affects the tiger from remaining away for several days from food?
  2. Find the word from the passage which means same as ‘hereditary’.
  3. Name any two agencies working for the protection of tigers.
  4. What two factors have put tigers species in the category of the endangered animals?
  5. What is the life span of a tiger?
    1. 5-10 years
    2. 10-15 years
    3. 15-20 years
    4. 20-25 years
  6. The White tiger is an offspring of
    1. Rajasthan tiger
    2. Chennai tiger
    3. Punjab tiger
    4. Bengal tiger
  7. Tigers are climbers and cannot climb a tree easily.
    1. expert
    2. goat
    3. poor
    4. worst
  8. A pure tiger is totally white without any stripes.
    1. White
    2. Yellow
    3. Golden
    4. Brown


  1. A big meal affects the tiger from remaining away for several days from food.
  2. genetic
  3. World Wildlife Federation (WWF), Defenders of Wildlife
  4. Habitat loss, poaching, and genetic inbreeding are the factors that have put the tiger species in the category of the endangered animals.
  5. 10-15 years
  6. Bengal tiger
  7. poor
  8. white

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