Four newborn white tigers are the latest stars of the Tobu Zoo, north of Tokyo. The unnamed cubs are the first white tigers born in captivity in Japan, and at six weeks they weigh in at a healthy five kilograms or about 11 pounds. With fewer than 200 of the species left in the wild, eager visitors were happy to stand in line for over an hour to get the first peek at the rare felines. SOUNDBITE: 23-YEAR-OLD ARCHITECT YUSUKE TERADA SAYING (Japanese) "Seeing such small babies, I became very happy. And when I saw three of the baby tigers playing and their mother watching over them from nearby I thought, what a nice family." SOUNDBITEL: PET GROOMER 31-YEAR-OLD TOMOKO HAYAKAWA SAYING (Japanese) "The little one tried to jump on his mom but slipped instead, it was very cute to see." In Japan there are about 30 white tigers held in captivity. Although beautiful, the creatures' appearance is actually caused by a recessive gene that also causes deformities in the spine and kidney problems. Zoo staff of course hopes that their white cubs will live to become healthy, full grown adult tigers.
May 2 - Four rare baby white tiger cubs delight zoo visitors in Japan on their first public appearance.Elly Park reports. ( Transcript )
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