Blue Tiger

Bluish big Cat of East Asia.

Physical description: Well-defined black stripes over a grayish-blue ground color. Deep blue on chest and ribcage.

Distribution: Rongcheng area, Fujian Province, China.

Significant sighting: In September 1910, hunter and missionary Harry R. Caldwell saw a tiger with a bluish-gray ground color and deep blue underparts near Rongcheng. He had it in his rifle sights but could not pull the trigger because there were two young boys nearby who might be endangered.

Present status: Other individuals may exist in the area if this variety entered the gene pool.

Possible explanation: Karl Shuker suggests a Tiger (Panthera tigris) may have possessed a recessive melanistic mutant allele and a recessive dilute mutant allele to produce a morph called a "blue dilution."

Sources: Harry R Caldwell, Blue Tiger (New Yor k: Abingdon, 1924); Roy Chapman Andrews, "The Trail of the Blue Tiger," True, January 1950, reprinted in North American BioFortean Review, no. 6 (May 2001): 80-91, ht t p://www.st r angear k.com/nabr /NABR6.pdf; Kar l Shuker, Mystery Cats of the World (London: Robert Hale, 1989), pp. 100-101.

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