A team of vets decided to euthanize a rare white tiger cub found under a garbage bin outside the Attica Zoological Park in February.
Jean-Jacques Lesueur, the founder of the zoo, where the white tiger is housed, explained that the decision on the fate of the animal was made and it will be euthanized, as it cannot be saved.
Hasija, as the female cub was called by its carers at the zoo, had 33 broken bones, “and every breath she takes causes excruciating pain.”
Lesueur said everyone in the park is devastated “because we loved the unfortunate animal. But nothing else can be done.” He noted that the euthanasia will take place in the next hours or days and that they are awaiting the order from those in charge.
“There is no chance that the tiger cub can recover.”
Nemesis animal welfare group explained in a Facebook post that it did everything it could to save the cub’s life but “Hasija should suffer no more.”
The tiger was found on February 28 in the zoo parking lot by a cleaner. The 4-month-old female cub was discovered hiding under the bins in the town of Spata, east of Athens. It was being treated at the Attica Zoological Park clinic.
“No one knows where it came from or how it got here,” Lesueur said at the time. “It’s in terrible condition,” he said.
As he explained it is obviously the act of an unscrupulous person, who, after illegally acquiring the white cub, decided to get rid of it because of its disability.
Rare white tiger cub
Conservation group World Wildlife Fund (WWF) describes white tigers as “a genetic anomaly,” with none known to exist in the wild.
They are often the result of inbreeding, exposing them to a host of health problems at birth. A white tiger’s pale coloration is due to the lack of the red and yellow pheomelanin pigments that normally produce the orange coloration. An additional genetic condition can result in a near-complete absence of stripes, making the tiger almost pure white.
The color of the white tiger’s fur is the result of a genetic mutation called leucism. In fact, this white coat would be a hindrance in the wild, as it doesn’t provide a tiger with any camouflage, which greatly reduces their chance of survival.
In the US, all white tigers originate from a single male white continental tiger which was imported to the country decades ago, WWF says.