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Bali Earns its Stripes

Bali Zoo Welcomes the Birth of Two Rare White Bengal Tigers.

(2/21/2009) The Bali Zoo in Gianyar reports the happy news of the birth of two rare white Bengal tigers on February 18, 2009.

The Mother and Father of the two white tigers, respectively Kartini and Buntung, had failed in an earlier attempt at parenthood when Kartini spontaneously aborted.

Assisting at the birth was the zoo's answer to Dr. Doolittle, Veterinarian Dr. Dewa Atmaja, who told Nusa Bali: "The current condition of the two baby white tigers is fine, stabile and very encouraging. But, the sex of the babies is still a mystery as the Mother is being very protective of her new babies."

Kartini was acquired by the Bali Zoo in an animal exchange program with the Surabaya Zoo while Buntung comes from a similar exchange program with the Pematangsiantar Zoo in North Sumatra.

Conservationists estimate there are only 4,000 Bengal tigers still living in the wild, with the white Bengal tigers representing a genetic sub-grouping now found almost exclusively in zoos and private collections. The Bengal tigers are the second largest tiger species after the Siberian tigers endemic in regions of Siberia and China.