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Name game for zoo's white tigers

February 11, 2007|From Associated Press

BUENOS AIRES — The Buenos Aires Zoo has been swamped with thousands of suggested names for three rare white tiger cubs that have made their public debut in the last week.

The cubs -- two females and a male -- were born Dec. 23 Conde and Bety at the Argentine capital zoo. The three siblings have been romping in the grass of their outdoor pen, to the delight of schoolchildren out for South America's summer vacation.

"They're just so playful," Buenos Aires Zoo spokeswoman Florencia Presa said Friday.

A big box for entries in a naming contest has been filling fast. "Already there are 5,000 slips filled out and the box keeps filling," she said.

The three lucky winners, who will be selected in a few months, will become "godparents" to the cubs and get a yearlong pass to visit the zoo.

Conde and Bety -- two white Bengal tigers -- had triplets in 2002, and two years later had another six cubs.

White tigers are not a separate subspecies but the result of both parents having a recessive gene for white coloration. They are rare in the wild because standing out in the jungle does not help catch prey.

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