The rare golden tiger gene purr-sists — thanks to the birth of four cubs at a zoo in China.
The newborn Bengal tigers were born Oct. 19 in the eastern Zhejiang province, at an animal park in Huzhou, the Daily Mail reported.
Chinese news outlet footage shows the 12-day-old siblings, one boy and three girls, tussling and napping in their incubators. They’ve received round-the-clock care since birth, especially because their mother hasn’t yet adapted to motherhood, the park said.
Their pale, blond coat and brown stripes come from a recessive gene that affects how they produce black pigment during their hair-growth cycle.
It is believed that only 30 golden Bengal tigers exist in the wild due to their extremely low fertility rate.
“The golden tiger is a mutant tiger species produced by the genetic mutation of the Bengal tiger,” the park wrote in a social media post, according to the Daily Mail.
“The breeding rate is lower than that of their close relatives, the white tiger and the snow tiger, and there are fewer of them than the pandas,” the park added, of which there are under 2,000, according to the latest World Wildlife Fund census.
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