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Records of

White Tigers

in the Wild

A table of over 50 unique occurrences


of the white tiger (Panthera tigris)
in the wild, with complete list
of sources and links

L Drummond, August 1, 2015


2
Records of White Tigers in the Wild

The following table summarizes historic records of white tigers in the wild. After combining possible duplicates, there
are over 50 unique white tigers noted from the Indian subcontinent from 1807-1958.

Most of these records have a high degree of certainty, as the tiger was either shot (usually) or captured
(occasionally). Most were adult tigers.

This is not a complete record of all white tigers in the wild. These are only those that were recorded, and where those
records are in a form that I can access them. There were possibly many more white tigers that were never recorded,
and many records lost or inaccessible. However, these 50 alone are ample proof that the white tiger occurred
naturally – and survived and bred - in the wild.

The records from China and Siberia, and pre-1800 are not easily validated, but I include them in the table as an
indication of possible, or probable, occurrences. More info may come to light in the future.

The records do not always specify whether the tiger was stripe-less (ie all white) or striped. Where it is specified I use
“s” for striped and “w” for all white beside the Tiger #. There does appear to be a general trend: earlier sightings from
1807-1907 are mostly stripe-less and from the North East of India, ie Assam, while the later sightings are mainly
striped and from further South-West, towards central India.

The sources and links are listed after the table.

Table of Historic References to White Tigers in the Wild

Reported Location Year Tiger # Locn # Source Ref Description


From Gazetteer records: 8 tiger records, 7 of these
are white tigers. Author suggests possibility that the
SE China: Fujian, sightings may have been “political” or cosmological,
AD48- Coggins
Jiangxi, Hunan & but also states that incidents involving tigers were
1000 pg56
Guangdong taken very seriously by the govt, and even the
sighting of a tiger in or near a country seat was
sufficient to warrant recording.
SE China: Fujian, AD
Coggins
Jiangxi, Hunan & 1000- 2 sightings of white tigers, as above
Pg56
Guangdong 2000
2 striped white tigers depicted in picture, with 3
India, nr Gwalior 1561 24 orange striped. In the Akbar Nama – a chronicle
depicting actual events.
In Miscellanies of Sunkiang - From 1516 to 1768 8
China, Kinshan 1659 5 tiger attacks were recorded including one white tiger
which carried off an old woman in 1659.
Sadiya, Tinsukia 1795- White tiger captured during the reign of Ahom King
1 Assam-1 2
district, Assam 1811 Kamaleswar Singha, recorded in the Orunodoi 1851.
Skull and paintings by Robert Home, of a white tiger,
India, district
1807 2w India-1 3 presented by Sir E Home. Incl an oil of the head, and
unknown
watercolour of the entire tiger.
India, district Milk-white, stripes faintly visible. Tame male tiger
1808 3w India-2 1
unknown taken to England by Sir Edward Pellew.
India, district
1809 =2w? 1 The 2nd white tiger known in India.
unknown
Lyd1893
Exhibited at Exeter Pocock29
1820
Exchange =3w? Gee59 White, stripes visible only in certain light.
approx
Menagerie, London Griffith1827
Woods1870
Completely white tiger killed in March 1851. Skin
Dibrugarh, Assam 1851 4w Assam-2 2 shown to “Shrijut Doctor Sharlok Sahab”. Recorded
in the Orunodoi 1851.
“Have been rumours of white tigers in northern
Siberia 1871 10
Siberia for a long time”
3
Reported Location Year Tiger # Locn # Source Ref Description
White tiger skin displayed at meeting ZSL by Edwin
10
Mirzapore (Mirapau) 1871 5s Mirz-1 Ward, from Mirapau. PZSL states is from Mirzapore,
23
displayed by E. Ward
Before White tiger with brown stripes shot, Major W M
Mirzapur =5s? 4
1872 Stewart.
Long
Major Godwin Austin speaking at a meeting of the
Skin exhibited at ZSL before =5s? 9
ZSL.
1891
Viewed a “magnificent white in Edward Ward’s
Skin in E Ward
1857-78 =5s? Pollok1900 taxidermy shop” Faint reddish stripes. (My note: shop
taxidermy shop
open 1857-78)
Gee59 “Mr Shadwell had 2 skins quite white, just showing
Assam, Jynteah 6w Assam-3
1879 Pollok1879/ stripes in the light”
Hills 7w Assam-4
1900 (My note: Shadwell had been in Assam since 1850)
Before Major Godwin Austin killed an all-white tiger.
Assam, Khasia Hills =6w? 9
1891 (mentioned at meeting of ZSL)
India, district Before Major Godwin Austin knows of a 3rd white tiger
=6w? Lyd1893
unknown 1893 example
At ZSL, Howard Saunders exhibited the skin of a
9, male white tiger in prime of life, from Northern India,
Northern India 6, sent by Major D. Robinson, Lancashire Fuseliers,
India-3
(probably not 1891 8s Lyd1893 Poona. Whitish-grey, w faint brown stripes. (My note:
Poona ?) Pocock29 later sources give locn as Poona, but Poona is not in
Gee59 N India. Orig source states N India, with the L. F.
being stationed at Poona.)
11
12 White tiger shot in Feb by WH Greenish, manager of
13 Nabarkutia Estate, skin sent to Mr Newing, Calcutta
Assam, Dibrugarh 1899 9w Assam-5 Lyd1907 taxidermist. Stripes hard to see. Orig source The
(pic) Calcutta Englishman.(My note: Gee gives the date as
1889 in error)
Gee59
Taxidermist had another white skin when Greenish’s
India, at Calcutta
1899 Lyd1907 was sent there (???? Not corroborated, taxidermist’s
Taxidermist
statement said had never seen another)
2 white tigers at Boga Bagh Tea Estate, one with a
1900 10w Assam-6 Gee59
Assam, Boga Bagh lemon patch on neck, otherwise quite white w faint
approx 11w Assam-7 Gee64
stripes.
White tiger seen in the jungles btwn Nanjanud and
14
Mysore 1902 12 Mys-1 Gundalpet, in Mysore. Efforts will be made to capture
15
it.
White tiger killed in Assam, will be placed in Museum
Assam 1908 13w Assam-8 16
at Calcutta
Before Lyd1907 The Maharajah of Kuch-Behar possesses a white
Cooch-Behar 14 CooB-1
1907 JBNHS19 skin
Shot by a villager in the North of Bilaspur district
Bilaspur, North 1906 =16s? JBNHS27
about 1906
Tigress, pure white w deep reddish black stripes. In
JBNHS19
Orissa, Dhenkanal perfect health and condition. Shot in Mulin Sub-
1909 15s Oris-1 Pocock29
state Division Forest. Mr Bavis Singh, Forest Officer in
Gee59
“The Forester”
Cream w choc brown stripes, long soft fur. Skin of
JBNHS24
tiger killed about 1910,in Pendra Zamindara of
Bilaspur 1910 16s Bil-1 Pocock29
Bilaspur, Central Prov. Sent to Nagpur Central
Gee59
Museum
Approx White tiger shot in Rewa a few years after the
Rewa =17? JBNHS27
1910 Bilaspur tiger 1906-1, but b4 1921
About 1909-11 a white tiger was killed by a Sardar in
Rewa (Sohagpur) 1911 17 Rewa-1 JBNHS27
Tahasil
JBNHS27 White tiger (2 yr old) captured in Dec. by Maharajah,
Rewa (Sohagpur) 1915 18s Rewa-2 Pocock29 kept alive in his gardens. Pure white w light black
Gee59 stripes. Photographed.
4
Reported Location Year Tiger # Locn # Source Ref Description
2 more white tigers related to 1915-1 seen at the
19 Rewa-3
Rewa (south) 1915 JBNHS27 same time as the capture. Mother believed to be not
20 Rewa-4
white.
Large heavy white tiger seen often, hunted but not
Bilaspur 1919 21 Bil-2 JBNHS27
killed.
White tigers have been known for years in this area,
JBNHS27; and thought to be living in the Maikal Hills. Are a
Amarkantak 1921
7 “regular breed” in Amarkantak, including a white
female with cubs.
White tiger shot by Maharaja of Sirguja, almost pure
Sirguja (nr
1924 22s Sirg-1 22 white except for a few dark stripings. Camouflaged
Amarkantak)
amongst cattle. Skin displayed in Calcutta.
Skin given to King George V in 1925 by Maharajah of
Rewa c1925 23s Rewa-5 Pocock29
Rewa
JBNHS28 2 young Albino tigers killed. Victor N Narayan. (My
Cooch-Behar 1922 Albino
Gee59 note: albino, not “white tigers”)
JBNHS32 White tigress shot by F B Robinson, Dec 1926. Pure
Baghalpur, Bihar 1926 24s Bihar-1
With photo white w black stripes
JBNHS32 White tigress shot by Mrs Murphy. White w black
Baghalpur, Bihar 1926 25s Bihar-2
stripes
Before =24s? 2 white tigresses from Baghalpur in Rowland Ward’s
Baghalpur, Bihar Pocock29
1928 &25s? records 1928 edition
The taxidermist had 2 other white skins when Mr
India, district 26s India-4 JBNHS32
1926 Robinson took his in, but they were more creamy
unknown 27s India-5 Gee59
than white.
Maharajah of Rewa shot a white tiger similar to the
Rewa 1926 28s Rewa-6 17
one presented to the king last year
White skin presented to BNHS by Maharajah. My
=28s or
Rewa 1927 JBNHS31 note: says that his captured white tiger recently died
18s?
– is it the same tiger ?
Tiger shot, pure white w chocolate stripes, in
Pocock29
Koriya (Korea) C.P. Rowland Ward’s records 1928 ed, p478. Shot by
1928 29s CP-1 JBNHS42
India ruling chief of Corea (ie Koriya). Photo of skin in
P654
JBNHS.
Central Provinces 1928 30 CP-2 Pocock29 White tiger shot, RW records 1928 ed p478
Before skin presented to museum by Mrs Craigie Halkett.
Mirzapore =5s? Pocock29
1929 White w tan stripes.
Comilla, E Bengal White tiger terrorising the district, said to have killed 6
1932 31 Bang-1 21
(Bangladesh) people
Maharaja of Gidhaur shot a white tiger, a fine
Bihar 1932 32 Bihar-3 18
specimen
Male shot in Lechua Jungles, placed in Indian
Bihar 1938 =32? Gee59
Museum in Calcutta
Rewa 1937 33 Rewa-7 Gee59 Tigress shot by Maharaja
India, district Before White tiger shot by Lois Tietjen. Maharajah had it
34 India-6 19
unknown 1938 stuffed and sent to her in New York
Kumaon 1938 35 Kuma-1 Corbett White tigress filmed by Jim Corbett
“Dead-white” tiger shot in Siberia. No stripes.
SIBERIA 1938 w 20
Examined by naturalists.
White tiger shot by Prime Minnister of Nepal at Barda
Nepal 1939 36 Nepal-1 8
camp in Terai
15 White tigers shot in Bihar between 1920-39
1920-
Bihar 8 My note: I have 3, assume the rest are included in
1939
Singh82 below
White tigress shot by administrator, had 6 unborn
Rewa 1946 37 Rewa-8 Gee59
white cubs
Rewa 1947 38 Rewa-9 Gee59 White tiger shot by Maharajah
Rewa 1951 39 Rewa-10 Gee59 White tiger Mohan captured
Hazaribagh, Bihar 1958 40 Bihar-13 Gee59 Last known wild white tiger shot
1900-
Rewa Gee59 Gee counted records of 8 white tigers from Rewa.
1959
5
Records from Bihar collated by K S Singh, 1982
“Records of Big Game indicate that in past 40 years
=Bihar-1
Bihar Singh82 more than 20 white tigers were shot in the various
to 16
jungles of Bihar.” Itemized 16 of these as follows:
White tigress shot in Satganwe Forest Range. Trophy is
Bihar Hazaribagh 1958 =40 =Bihar-13 Singh82
kept at Tisri with the Agarwalla family.
Pre- Arthur Musselwhite mentioned shooting of a whit e tiger
Bihar, Monghyr 41 Bihar-16 Singh82
1933 in Lachwar Jungle by the Maharaj of Gidhaur.
Maharaj Chandra Mauleshwar Singh of Gidhaur shot a
9’8in white tiger on 2 Feb 1932 at Lachwar jungles of
Bihar 1932 =32 =Bihar-3 Singh82
Gidhaur raj. Fully mounted, presented to Calcutta
museum, still displayed there in 1982.
Bihar, White tiger shot by JG Wakefield, manager, Tikari Raj
1930 42 Bihar-4 Singh82
Hazaribagh nr hazaribagh
White tiger shot by Raja Bahadur of Ramgarh at Itkhori
Bihar, Itkhori 1930 43 Bihar-5 Singh82
jungle
White tiger shot by Sri Kartik Singh of Mashnodih in his
Bihar, Mashnodih 1930 44 Bihar-6 Singh82
own forest
White tiger shot by Tikait of gawan, Krishna Prasad
Bihar, gawan 1930 45 Bihar-7 Singh82
Singh at Bhaiya Bahini Prahar, Gawan.
Bihar, Searkorni Kumar Fateh Narayan Singh of Tikari shot 10ft white
1936 46 Bihar-8 Singh82
jungles tiger
Bihar, Satgawan 1936 47 Bihar-9 Singh82 White tiger shot by Mr Tirky, SI Police
=24s
=Bihar-1 2 white tigers shot by Mr Murphy and Mr Robinson, as
Bihar, Bhagalpur &25s Singh82
=Bihar-2 in Rowland Ward’s Big Game Records.
Kumar Krishnanand Singh of Sultanganj shot a white
Bihar, Bhagalpur 48 Bihar-10 Singh82
tiger
Mr Shlingfored shot a white tiger.
Bihar, Purnea 1907 49 Bihar-11 Singh82
Bihar, Gurpa White tiger shot by the Third Raj Kumar of Amwan Raj
50 Bihar-12 Singh82
forest of Gaya district.
White tiger shot by Maharaja capt. Gopal saran Singh
Bihar 1926 51 Bihar-14 Singh82
of Tikari rag (Gaya) in his own forest
White tiger shot by Maharaja capt. Gopal saran Singh
Bihar 1933 52 Bihar-15 Singh82
of Tikari rag (Gaya) in his own forest

Note: Singh states more than 20 from Bihar, but only itemizes 16, so I have only added in 16 to the total.
6
Sources:

Note: Most of the documents listed below were written pre-1960, and some do not exist online, or are in archives
that require membership or subscription to view (eg Newspaper Archives). I have provided links to free-to-view
documents wherever possible.

1. L Drummond, 2015 – “Pellew’s Tiger 1809 – The First White Tiger in England”
https://www.scribd.com/doc/270384052/Pellew-s-Tiger-1809-The-First-White-Tiger-in-England

2. “White tiger in Assam: earliest authentic record of killing in India” by Tikendrajit Gogoi, in Current Science, V
100, No 2, 25 Jan 2011 http://www.currentscience.ac.in/Volumes/100/02/0148.pdf

3. Catalogue of the Contents of the Museum of the Royal College of Surgeons in London, Volume 8, by R.
Taylor, 1831 https://books.google.co.nz/books?id=6MdbAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA63&dq=%22white+tiger
%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=-16SVY7SPIHKmAWv6Kpw&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=%22white%20tiger
%22&f=false

4. Fraser’s Magazine, Vol 13, 1876 quoting “Rambles in the Mirzapore District” by Major W M Stewart, and
“Machan Shooting” by Sir J Weymyss 1872 https://books.google.co.nz/books?
id=FFBGAQAAMAAJ&pg=PA156&dq=%22white+tiger
%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=M2KSVbTDBITOmwXelIOgBw&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=%22white%20tiger
%22&f=false

5. On the Cosmical Phenomena Observed in the Neighborhood of Shanghai, during the past 13 centuries. By
DJ MacGowan. 1858. in Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland North China Branch,
Kelly & Walsh, 1860 https://books.google.co.nz/books?id=mxdKAAAAcAAJ&pg=PA73&dq=%22white+tiger
%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=M2KSVbTDBITOmwXelIOgBw&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=%22white%20tiger
%22&f=false

6. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London, June 1891


https://archive.org/stream/proceedingsofzoo1891zool#page/372/mode/2up/search/tiger

7. A A Dunbar Brander 1923 – Wild Animals in Central India (Book)

8. Kailash Sankhala, “Tiger! The Story of the Indian Tiger”, 1978. (Book)

9. Exeter and Plymouth Gazette, 1891 July 9


http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000508/18910709/035/0006
10. Lincolnshire Chronicle, 1871 Mar 3
http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000354/18710303/012/0003
11. Dover Express, 1899 Apr 21
http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000330/18990421/022/0002
12. Dundee Evening Telegraph, 1899 Apr 6
http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000453/18990406/034/0004
13. Lincolnshire Chronicle, 1899 Apr 7
http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000354/18990407/010/0003
14. Cheltenham Chronicle 1902 May 24
http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000518/19020524/180/0008
15. Dundee Evening Post 1902 June 2
http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000582/19020602/068/0006
16. Aberdeen Journal 1908 August 28
http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000576/19080828/147/0009
17. Yorkshire Evening Post 1926 June 11
http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000273/19260611/198/0008
18. Hartlepool Mail 1932 Feb 26
http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000378/19320226/160/0008
19. Essex Newsman 1938 Aug 7
http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000381/19380827/025/0001
7
20. Hastings and St Leonards Observer 1938 Sept 10
http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000293/19380910/371/0018
21. The Daily News, Perth, 1932 Mar 18 http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/83565522?
searchTerm=tiger&searchLimits=l-title=275|||l-decade=193|||l-year=1932|||l-month=3
22. The Evening Independent, 1924 Jun 9 https://news.google.com/newspapers?
nid=2199&dat=19240605&id=FuFiAAAAIBAJ&sjid=8ngNAAAAIBAJ&pg=2132,3845645&hl=en
23. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London 1871 p102
http://biodiversitylibrary.org/page/28553959#page/138/mode/1up
24. “The Earliest Record of a White Tiger” by Divyabhanusinh 1986 in JBNHS vol 83
http://www.catsg.org/catsglib/recordetail.php?recordid=365

Coggins, Chris – “The Tiger and the Pangolin”. 2003. p56 (Book)

Corbett, Jim – “Maneaters of Kumaon” (Book)

Gee59 – “Albinism and Partial Albinism in Tigers” by E P Gee, in JBNHS 1959 Vol 56
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/item/182247#page/697/mode/1up

Gee64 – E.P. Gee, “The Wild Life of India” Ch 8 “The White Tigers of Rewa”. 1964 (Book)

Griffith1827 – Griffith’s Animal Kingdom (Cuvier) vol2


http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/item/103961#page/534/mode/1up
Illustration at http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/item/103961#page/535/mode/1up

JBNHS – Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society, various volumes and years
JBNHS19 http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/item/28012#page/844/mode/1up
JBNHS24 http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/item/95302#page/947/mode/1up
JBNHS27 http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/item/95740#page/1052/mode/1up
JBNHS28 http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/item/95721#page/714/mode/1up
JBNHS31 http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/item/185226#page/379/mode/1up
JBNHS32 http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/item/183088#page/298/mode/1up
JBNHS42 http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/item/185222#page/321/mode/1up

Lyd1893 – R Lydekker, The Royal Natural History, 1893


https://archive.org/stream/royalnaturalhist12lyde#page/374/mode/2up/search/white

Lyd1907 – R Lydekker, “The Game Animals of India, Burma, Malaya and Tibet” 1907
https://archive.org/stream/gameanimalsofind00lyde#page/n327/mode/2up/search/%22white+tiger%22
Illustration at https://archive.org/stream/gameanimalsofind00lyde#page/n331/mode/2up

Pocock29 - “Tigers” by R I Pocock in JBNHS vol 33 1929


http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/page/47489549#page/145/mode/1up

Pollok1879 - Sport in British Burmah, Assam, and the Cassyah and Jyntiah Hills
https://archive.org/stream/sportinbritishb01pollgoog#page/n138/mode/2up

Pollok1900 – Wild Sports of Burma and Assam


https://archive.org/stream/wildsportsofburm00pollrich#page/54/mode/2up/search/white

Singh82 – “White Tiger Records” by Kumar Surendra Singh, in Hornbill, 1982.


http://www.catsg.org/catsglib/recordetail.php?recordid=373

Woods1870 – JG Woods “Animal Kingdom” , 1870. (Book)