As of 2015, there are only around 200 white tigers left in the wild throughout the world. There were once eight subspecies of white tigers, but only five are left in existence. It is illegal to hunt tigers due to their low numbers and endangered status, but some people still do so.
All white tigers in captivity are descended from one male white tiger who was captured from the wild in 1951. Another white tiger was brought to the United States to be bred with normal orange tigers, but the offspring that resulted had genetic defects.
White tigers in the wild inhabit several regions of Asia, ranging from far eastern Soviet Union, where they inhabit frozen tundra regions, to Malaysia and Indonesia, where they inhabit humid jungles, to India, where they inhabit the hardwood forests and enjoy the hot climate. In the last 100 years, only 12 white tigers have actually been spotted in the wild. However, there are large numbers of tigers (including other subspecies of tigers, such as orange Bengal tigers) that live in captivity. There are 18 tiger reserves throughout Nepal, Bangladesh and other areas of India, where around 5,000 to 7,000 tigers live (these numbers include the other sub-species of tigers).