The tiger is an animal that has a coat and a size very different depending on the subspecies to which it belongs. This evolution capacity gave birth to many legends around certain felines and their atypical color!
The Grey Tiger is one of these animals so extraordinary that we can hardly believe in their existence. Also known as the Maltese Tiger, it has been the talk of the town for several decades.
But does this grayish-furred beast exist? And where do the stories that have forged its popularity come from?
If you're here, it's because you want to learn a little more about one of the world's most fascinating beasts. We can imagine how some of the pictures have stimulated your curiosity and made you want to expand your knowledge.
A mysterious aura hovers around this grey feline, but don't worry, thanks to this article; you will become a real expert on the subject!
The history of the Gray Cat
The story of the Maltese Tiger dates back more than a century to the early 1900s. At that time, an American agent named Harry Caldwell was sent to southern China. He was a great lover of nature, but a seasoned hunter used to contact Tigers above all.
During this adventure, he observed a tiger with a bluish-gray coat with his own eyes. He tells in a book published a few years after returning home how this exceptional event took place.
We will briefly summarize how this encounter took place!
Harry was walking in the forest with his team to take samples of a plant. Once the trip was over, the whole group decided to leave the jungle and return to camp. It was then that one of his associates pointed out what looked like a large gray tiger.
The American missionary had already seen dozens of Tigers during his hunting career, which is why he did not want to believe it. Nevertheless, he approached the beast and was forced to realize that he was indeed in front of a gray-furred beast. His hunting reflexes resurfaced, and he decided to take out his gun to prove his discovery. Unfortunately for him, and fortunately for the Tiger, the latter fled as soon as he heard the "click" so characteristic of the rifles of the time.
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Following this event, the hunter alerted his superiors at the camp about the find he made during his exploration. The generals laughed at him and did not take him seriously because it was unthinkable that such a Tiger could exist.
Nevertheless, Harry alerted the local Chinese people and told them that he would offer a great reward to anyone who could bring back the body of this cat. Great hunts took place, and there are a few accounts of seeing the cat without it ever being captured. Even today, the shadow of the Maltese Tiger hangs over the Fujian province, especially in the remote mountains.
Why was it nicknamed the Maltese Tiger?
Well, it's straightforward; it comes straight from the island of Malta in southern Italy. A robust population of wild cats with blue dresses populates the island. Following this anecdote, the name of the Maltese Tiger was born to designate this Fawn with the bluish-gray color. The latter does not live on the small island because the only testimonies describe it from Asia.
Testimonies and observations about the Fawn
Speaking of sightings, let's take a closer look at the nature and authenticity of these sightings.
First of all, the vast majority of the sightings of the Gray Tiger come straight from China, even if there are some from Korea and Russia. Most of the people who have seen the Tiger are villagers from the Fujian region of southern China. They describe the animal as non-aggressive and breathtakingly beautiful.
No attack of the Maltese Tiger has ever taken place, which does not help to prove its existence. This is all the more difficult to believe when one knows the unpredictable character of big cats. It would seem that history and the American agent's book have given rise to this belief among the local population.
However, it would be reductive to completely dismiss these testimonies because some of them offer us important information.
This is the case, for example, of this soldier, who tells of having fallen face to face with a gray tiger. Stunned by this unusual encounter, he remained motionless in front of the animal for fear that it would attack him. The big cat continued on its way as if nothing had happened without even calculating the presence of the soldier.
With this observation, we learn that if this Tiger exists, then it is much less aggressive and hostile to human presence than its cousins with the more traditional coat. However, when confronted with a legend of this kind, it is essential to refer to science to ensure its integrity.
This is what we will do in this last part!
The opinion of scientists on the Grey Tiger
To be explicit with you at the outset, scientists cannot prove or disprove with certainty the existence of the Maltese Tiger. Indeed, it would seem that this animal belongs to the realm of cryptozoology in the same way as the Loch Ness monster or the Yeti.
On the other hand, it is quite possible to obtain the grayish pigmentation so specific to this Tiger. Indeed, some species of felines such as the lynx or the cheetah have seen some specimens receive a blue-gray color because of a genetic problem. The kinship between these animals can transmit these genes and create physical malformations, like the Trisomic Tiger, for example.
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In practical terms, the existence of the Maltese Tiger is relatively plausible, although it raises other questions. For it seems unlikely that a feline with such a skin color can camouflage itself and effectively hunt its prey in its natural habitat. The gray color is not practical to move with discretion in the Asian vegetation.
According to scientists, the fawn would have great difficulty catching and killing animals without being noticed. Nevertheless, if it has black stripes as the testimonies tend to describe it, it can succeed in its game hunting.
Besides that, the scientific community agrees that if the Gray Tiger exists, it is not a subspecies in its own right. For it would be in reality a South China Tiger affected by a problem of melanism, which gives him this color. This can be explained by the fact that they share the same range in southern China.
Unfortunately, this species is very close to total extinction as the last remaining members live in captivity. In this way, the Chinese Tiger lineage is entirely extinct in the wild, according to the WWF.
Finally, it is crucial to remain critical and perplexed about the existence of the Maltese Tiger. Unlike the Albino Tiger or the Black Tiger, no photo of one of these grey-colored felines has been taken to date.
So please don't get carried away, because currently, nothing proves its existence!
The story of the Gray Tiger is impressive, both for the way it came about and for the mystery it leaves behind. For although it may seem fanciful, many people attest to having had the chance to observe this bluish-colored feline. Moreover, the existence of this cat is not excluded by scientists.
Indeed, some of them explain that these Tigers could have been affected by the same phenomenon as the White Tiger. A genetic mutation of their genome would be at the origin of the existence of the Maltese feline. However, even if science has proven that the latter could potentially exist, no photo has been taken so far. All those you can see in this article are reconstructions based on testimonies.
Thanks to the descriptions of local people, we can get an idea of the appearance of the Gray Tiger. Unfortunately, these observations are insufficient to attest to 100% of its existence. So much so that today, despite the numerous testimonies that have been recorded, we still do not know if this blue-gray fawn exists.
In the end, it is not unlikely that in a few years, we will be able to observe real pictures of the Maltese Tiger. However, it is essential to keep one's feet on the ground and not to imagine everything and anything. If the latter lives in some Chinese provinces, we will sooner or later know the truth.
Thanks to this little report, you now know the whole story about the most mysterious of the Tigers. With this new knowledge in your pocket, you'll be able to make an impression with a whole bunch of juicy anecdotes!
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