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Peru: Tiger Cub at the Zoo


A rare white Bengal tiger cub recently shown off in Peru. (Courtesy: RTV/CBS)

A rare white Bengal tiger cub recently shown off in Peru. (Courtesy: RTV/CBS)

Proud keepers showed off a rare white female Bengal tiger cub that was born in a Peruvian zoo 41 days ago.

The cub, with its unusual white and black-striped coat, made its first public appearance at Huachipa on Monday (August 5), playing with her keeper.

Feeding the cub a special diet of milk, beef and chicken, zoo personnel have carefully hand-reared the baby Bengal since birth with his mother unable to produce enough milk.

"We've got a white Bengal tiger cub, the animal is 41 days old. He is a hand-reared animal so it is important to ensure its survival because the mother did not have enough milk," said zoo vet, Catalina Hermoza.

Measuring 40 centimeters (15 inches) in length and weighing just five kilos (11 lbs), she is the first Bengal tiger cub born in Peru and has now become the zoo's main attraction.

"She is soft and I loved holding her because they're savage and normally you can't hold these animals," said visitor, Melissa Maldonado.

The yet-unnamed cub will rejoin her parents when she is six-months old. Father Yunga was transferred to Peru three years ago from the Tamaiken zoo in Argentina. Mother Clarita arrived two years ago from Chile's Metropolitan zoo for breeding.

A contest at the zoo is being held to help name the new baby cub.

According to the World Wildlife Fund, there are an estimated 1,850 Bengal tigers left in the wild with poaching putting the majestic species at high risk.

White tigers have their color from a genetic mutation and are thought to have a weaker immune system.

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