Meet Blanca, The Extremely Rare White Tiger From Malta

She's only one of about 20 in the whole world

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The White Siberian tiger is an extremely rare breed which is currently endangered. None have been seen in the wild for the last 50 years, and rough estimates put the remaining population of white tigers (in zoos or animal sanctuaries) at less than 20 in the whole world. There's only a total of about 6,000 tigers left in the world, and the white tiger is the result of a genetic anomaly of one in every 10,000 tigers, so there may actually be no wild tigers left at all. 

Against all these odds, however, there is one white tiger right here, in Malta.

Say hello to Blanca

Blanca was born earlier last month on the 6th of June, as part of a litter of five. One of her brothers, Zeus, is a rare black and white tiger, but it's Blanca who's really managed to attract attention. Apart from being an extremely rare case of a white tiger being born to "normal parents", Blanca seems to have another genetic condition which makes her even rarer. Sometimes, white tigers are born with barely any stripes, making them almost pure white. One such specimen was exhibited at Exeter Change in England... in 1820

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The white tiger is currently listed by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature as a severely threatened species in its surrounding environment, and official records have no white tiger listed outside of captivity. Numerous cases have been made by the likes of Big Cat Rescue that all white tigers in the world are the result of inbreeding. In fact, some people believe that all the white tigers living in captivity likely came from the same tiger, Mohan, captured in Rewa, India in 1951. Blanca currently lives at L-Arka ta' Noe, an animal sanctuary which takes in animals of all shapes and sizes. 

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"We're not sure how many white Siberian tigers like Blanca exist in the world, but it's around nine," the owner, Anton, told Lovin Malta. Earlier last May, Anton had explained what his plans for the tigers at the sanctuary are during a live video. "We're going to be launching a test in 2018 to send them out to the wild again," he said. "We're going to try and chip them so that we have proper data tracking, we'll send them to rehab, and then we try to send them out the wild again. It won't be easy, but unless we find some stupid savage who actually shoots at them, that's the plan."

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READ NEXT: This Photo Of A Baby Tiger At A Maltese Club Caused An Uproar Online

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