Here, Kitty, Kitty!

updated 01/23/1984 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 01/23/1984 AT 01:00 AM EST

Tiger, tiger, burning bright—or, in this case, white: The Cincinnati Zoo should be absolutely lyrical about the arrival of five rare white Bengal tigers, but they're used to this sort of thing in Cincinnati. Of the 70 white tigers (some come with stripes) known to exist, 30 have been born at the zoo, which is now the only such place breeding them. These five—three males and two females—born last August, join five other whites already prowling the premises. Why are whites so unusual? "Any animal without camouflage is easier for a predator to spot," says curator Robert Lotshaw. "They stick out like a sore thumb." Still nursing (their mother, Sumita, has had six litters already), some of these cubs will be sold before spring to other zoos around the world at a cool $60,000 each. Their names—Chanda, Kanpur, Lucknow, Jaipur and Ahmadabad—recall their Indian heritage. Zoo officials say they are tired of having their animals named for employees. "Too often people name animals after their girl-or boyfriends," says Lotshaw. "We've got rhinos around here named Frank or Ralph."

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