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The endangered white tiger is either extinct or practically extinct in the wild and in practice endangered in captivity.
It is thought that the first mutation (and white tiger) occurred in and around 1900.
One interesting thought. It could conceivably be argued that the prospect of another white Bengal tiger being born in the wild is increasing. This is because as the orange tiger population decreases inbreeding becomes more likely. Close breeding increases the chances of recessive genes being manifest. And the gene that produces the dilute colouration is recessive as I understand it.The "Snow tiger" (not a accurate name) is a more extreme version of white tiger, when the stripes are rendered very pale.
The eyes of the white tiger lack color. This is reminiscent of the effect of the piebald or white spotting gene in domestic cats (see solid and white cat coats).
So the rarity (originally) of this cat is due to the rarity of the genetic condition as it is recessive. Its extreme rarity automatically makes it endangered in this world. The cat became rarer because humans are driven to kill and possess rare animals.