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  • Context (TH): Assam Chief Minister shared a picture of a golden tiger on X (formerly Twitter) to celebrate National Tourism Day (Jan 25th).
  • A few years back, ‘Kazi 106FIndia’s only Golden Tiger, emerged as social media sensation.

    Golden tiger

  • Golden tigers are also known as ‘Tabby tigers’ or ‘Strawberry tigers’.
  • The skin of tigers is orange-yellow with black stripes and a whitish abdominal region.
  • The yellowish background is controlled by a set of agouti genes and their alleles.
  • Tabby genes and their alleles control the black colour stripes.
  • Suppression of any of these genes may lead to colour variation in tigers.
  • Tigers found in Kaziranga National park are different from the rest of the world in territorial behavioural patterns.

Odisha’s famous Black Tigers

black tiger

  • Melanistic tigers/Black tigers are found exclusively in the Similipal Tiger Reserve in Odisha.
  • They are a rare colour variant of the Bengal tiger.
  • Unlike the typical orange coat with dark stripes, melanistic tigers have a dark black or nearly black coat with faint or almost invisible stripes.
  • This dark colouration is due to a genetic condition known as melanism, where there is an excessive development of dark pigmentation (melanin) in the skin and fur.
  • A single mutation in the gene Transmembrane Aminopeptidase Q (Taqpep) causes the black tigers to develop broadened stripes.
  • Odisha is setting up an exclusive Melanistic Tiger Safari near Similipal Tiger Reserve.
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