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Super Rare Black Tiger Caught On Camera

Image via Indian Times

Have you ever wondered what the opposite of Leucism is? Well, right here, a tiger demonstrates what that is… melanism, where animals produce more dark pigments. In this article, we dive into the sighting that rocked the world: a rare black tiger with melanism was sighted on a camera trap in Similial Tiger Reserve in India. Let’s find out more!

What Makes This Rare Encounter So Special?

The tiger went out from the shadows and was watching something. (Panthera tigris corbetti) in the natural habitat, wild dangerous animal in the natural habitat, in Thailand. Image via depositphotos.

The most distinctive feature of the black tiger is, of course, its stunning black coat. Unlike the traditional orange fur of Bengal tigers, black tigers possess a unique genetic variation that causes their fur to be charcoal-black with faint stripes.

Dark Coat

Tiger. Image via Depositphotos.

Their dark coat stems from a recessive melanin gene that overrides the typical orange and white stripe genes. Researchers have observed this genetic rarity in various big cat species, including leopards and jaguars, but the black tiger has captivated the imagination of many.

Diet and Lifestyle of the Black Tiger

Bengal tiger. Chinese New Year 2022 simbol. Beautiful bengal tigers at zoo. Image via Depositphotos.

The diet and lifestyle of the black tiger don’t differ much from the Bengal Tiger’s!

Tiger Diet

Tiger relaxing. Image by Ralphs_Fotos via Pixabay

The black tiger, much like its orange-coated counterparts, is a carnivore at heart. Its diet primarily consists of deer, wild boar, and occasionally smaller mammals like monkeys and porcupines.


amur siberian tiger
The Siberian tiger (Panthera tigris altaica), also known as the Amur tiger, is one of the largest cat species in the world and is characterised by its dense orange fur with black stripes. It is native to the cool forests and mountainous regions of the Russian Far East and north-eastern China. These impressive predators are skilled hunters and feed mainly on large ungulates such as deer and wild boar. Unfortunately, the Siberian tiger is highly endangered and is on the endangered species list. Protection measures and conservation programmes are crucial to ensure the survival of these fascinating animals. Anil Öztas, FALCC-BY-NC-4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Black tigers’ ebony camouflage, which helps them blend seamlessly into the forest’s shadows, makes them efficient and effective hunters. They exhibit patience and cunning, often lying in wait for hours to ambush their prey. They are primarily nocturnal, preferring to hunt under the cover of darkness when their black coats offer them the greatest advantage.

Lifestyle Of The Black Tiger

Bengal tiger
Female tiger, Bubbly swimming at Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve in Rajasthan, India. Image by Koshy Koshy from New Delhi, India, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Known for their solitary lifestyle, these stealthy hunters typically prefer to roam their territory alone. They establish and defend their territory and employ various behaviors, including scent marking. They mark their territory with urine and scratch marks on trees, clearly stating to other tigers that they claim this area.

Social Habits

Tiger. Image via Depositphotos.

This territorial marking helps minimize encounters with other tigers, reducing potential conflicts and ensuring their solitary lifestyle remains undisturbed. Despite their solitary tendencies, black tigers occasionally come together during the mating season, with males seeking out females for companionship.

Tiger Cubs

Tiger cub
Sumatran tiger and cub (Panthera tigris sumatrae). Image via Depositphotos

Once the cubs are born, the mother becomes their sole caregiver, nurturing and teaching them the ways of the wild until they are old enough to venture out on their own.

A Rare Encounter of a Black Tiger Marking Its Territory

Portrait of Sumatran tiger in black and white
Portrait of Sumatran tiger in black and white
Video by Ramesh Pandey on X.

In the video, a lone black tiger sniffs around a tree. Once it inspects it, the tiger stands on its hind legs and marks the tree with claws and urine. After that, it peacefully strolls away.

A camera trap captured the video in Similipal Tiger Reserve, where authorities protect tigers from poachers and deforestation.

Threats To Black Tigers

Close up of a Black Tiger. Image via pinterest

Despite their captivating allure, black tigers face numerous threats that endanger their existence. Habitat loss due to deforestation and human encroachment is one of these magnificent creatures’ primary challenges.


Tiger. Image via Depositphotos.

Another grave threat to black tigers is poaching. The demand for tiger parts in traditional medicine and the illegal wildlife trade has led to the senseless slaughter of these majestic animals. Black markets highly seek their bones, skin, and other body parts, fetching exorbitant prices..

Conservation of the Black Tiger

Two tigers with melanism walking caught on a camera trap. Image via Pinterest.

Efforts to combat poaching are essential for the survival of the black tiger. Conservation initiatives, such as increased patrolling and establishing protected reserves, are crucial to safeguarding their future. Despite the daunting challenges they face, there is hope for the survival of the black tiger.

More On Conservation

Tiger from Asia. Image via Depositphotos.

Conservationists and wildlife enthusiasts dedicate themselves to preserving the habitat, combating poaching, and raising awareness about these remarkable creatures. Establishing breeding programs in captivity also offers a glimmer of hope for increasing their dwindling numbers.

Can black tigers breed normally with other Bengal tigers?

tiger cub
Young siberian/bengal tiger, captive. Image by via

Yes, black tigers can breed normally with other Bengal tigers. Their unusual coloration does not affect their ability to reproduce, and their offspring may or may not inherit the pseudo-melanistic trait.

What causes the pseudo-melanistic gene in black tigers?

Bengal Tiger
Bengal Tiger (Panthera tigris tigris) in Madhya Pradesh, India. Image by Suhel Quader, CC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The pseudo-melanistic gene is a rare genetic mutation that affects the typical pigmentation pattern of tigers. It is believed to be recessive, requiring both parents to carry the gene for the condition to manifest.

How many black tigers are there in the wild?

Scary looking male royal bengal tiger staring towards the camera from inside the jungle. Image via depsoitphotos

There is no precise count, but it is estimated that only a few black tigers exist in the wild, primarily in the Simlipal Tiger Reserve. Their rarity makes exact numbers difficult to determine.

Are black tigers endangered?

Bengal Tiger in forest show head faces fierce. Image via depositphotos

Like all Bengal tigers, black tigers are endangered due to habitat loss, poaching, and human-wildlife conflict. The specific pseudo-melanistic trait does not affect their conservation status separately but adds to the biodiversity within the endangered tiger population.

How does the pseudo-melanism gene affect black tigers?

Bengal Tiger
Tiger, Angry bengal tiger. Image via depositphotos

Pseudo-melanism in black tigers causes their black stripes to be broader and closer together, often merging to cover more of their orange background fur, resulting in a darker appearance.


Close up of Tiger. Image by garten-gg via Pixabay

Black tigers will remain rare as this genetic mutation is rarely seen in the wild. This encounter reminds us of how much of wildlife we actually do not know about. I hope you enjoyed reading about this rare black tiger.

Next In Tiger News

Indian tiger female. Image via Depositphotos.

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Dee Grant

Friday 15th of September 2023

Never knew a black tiger existed. How beautiful. I second the notion. Long live all tigers!

Thursday 7th of September 2023

Long live all tigers

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