Sariska is the smallest male at
Tiger Canyons. His father was Ron and his mother is Shadow.
He was born into a litter of 4,
of which 3 survived. His brother is the famous aggressive male
Corbett and his sister is a shy female called Panna.
In his early years, because of
his size and temperament, he was unable to capture a territory at
Tiger Canyons. All the large males dominated him and he survived by
literally running for his life.
On one occasion I filmed him as
he backed down an antbear hole “warthog style” and fended off an
attack from the big male Seatao.
At that time I thought to
myself that he would never be a dominant or breeding male at Tiger
Canyons. However, twenty months ago, he was able to capture a
territory in the South of Tiger Canyons.
Fifteen months ago he
impregnated Tigress Ussuri and 104 days later, 3 cubs were born.
I was doubtful that Sariska
could protect the area from male tigers that were not the father of
the cubs and would kill Ussuri’s cubs.
Then an interesting thing
happened. On the birth of the Ussuri’s cubs, Sariska became more
aggressive. Male tigers that previously had dominated him, were now
attacked when they came near his territory. Sariska bulked up and
put on weight, giving him the edge when fighting other male tigers.
Then incredibly he expanded his
territory south towards the river, forcing the resident male Tiger
Boy to move East. Now Sariska’s territory overlapped a portion, but
not the whole, of the white tigress Tiger Bomb (Tibo’s) territory.
Previously Tibo had mated with
Tiger Boy (vasectomised) and Sundaban (Cryptorchidism
- The testicles are inside the body of the male tiger,
causing the temperature of the sperm to be too high and therefore
Indeed during one estrus, I had
filmed Tibo mate with Tiger Boy, Shy Boy and Sundaban, all unfertile
When Sariska captured a portion
of Tibo’s territory, it was Tibo’s first opportunity to mate with a
fertile male. The result is that 104 days after mating with Sariska,
Tibo has produced 4 cubs, all normal colour. One of the cubs was
still born and I filmed her moving the dead cub from the den and
taking it into the reeds to eat it (I have twice filmed mother
leopards eating their dead cubs and twice with Tigresses disposing
of dead cubs by eating them)
Sariska is a normal coloured
tiger i.e he possesses two normal genes. Tibo is a white tigress
possessing two white genes. Therefore every cub will possess one
white gene and one normal gene, making them a carrier of the
recessive white gene.
Before Tibo’s litter can be
deemed a success, Tibo must overcome a series of problems. The first
problem is that it is her first litter and she is inexperienced. The
second and more serious problem, is that the den site that she has
chosen sits in Tiger Boy's territory and not Sariska’s.
If she mated with Tiger Boy and
Sariska when the cubs were conceived, then it's possible that Tiger
Boy will perceive the cubs to be his and therefore give them
protection. If she did not mate with Tiger Boy when she mated with
Sariska, then there is a good chance that Tiger Boy will kill the
cubs because they are not his offspring.
For now Tibo, the only wild
white tigress in the world, has produced 4 normal coloured cubs of
which 3 have survived.
I will keep you informed every
step of the way.
Tread lightly on the Earth