An incredibly rare pale tiger has been spotted in India

Jessica Brown@Jessica_E_Brown
Saturday 08 July 2017 15:15
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Picture:(Provided by NILANJAN RAY)

Photographer Nilanjan Ray has managed to capture something truly spectacular and quite probably totally unique.

Ray was at the Nilgiri biosphere reserve in Tamil Nadu, India when he managed to snap a picture of an incredibly rare pale tiger.

After uploading the picture to his website, the jaw-dropping image has gone viral with many people scarcely believe that it's real.

The reason for the skepticism is the fact that one of the last sightings of a wild pale tiger was in the 1950s.

On how he captured the shot, Ray told Fox News:

It was raining on and off. The rain had stopped for a few minutes, and the sun was about to come out. I was driving, when after a turn, we suddenly saw something that looked like a tiger (this one looked normal) walking on the road, maybe 200+ feet away.

After a few seconds it ran up the hillside and vanished. It looked rather curious - and cute - than scared or aggressive. And then another tiger - normal, orange one - appeared, much closer to us. We could see its head behind a bush. They could be siblings, or mother and cub. They played hide-and-seek with us for a while before vanishing, but not before I had taken some photos.

The tiger is neither a proper white tiger, or an albino. It's thought to have a rare genetic mutation that causes its exact colour.

Thankfully, this beautiful creature's exact location is being kept a closely guarded secret, in order to keep poachers off the scent.

Belinda Wright, founder of the Wildlife Protection Society of India, told the Guardian:

It is the palest tiger I have ever seen on the record or heard about in literature. 

You occasionally see lighter-coloured tigers, but they’re nothing compared to this one,” she said. “There are also some pale tigers in captivity, particularly in the US, but these are ‘cocktail’ tigers that are bred that way, with genes from white tigers.

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