The beautiful Bengal White Tiger

This is a story of a White Bengal Tiger named Odin. A friend sent it to me in an email and I thought I would share it with you. The story is reprinted from the email.

Odin is six years old and 10 feet long from tail to nose. Odin lives at a Zoo in Vallejo, California, near San Francisco.

Odin was hand-raised at the zoo. And after he was weaned, his British trainer

Lee Munro discovered his remarkable skill.

When a lump of meat was thrown into a pool of water, Odin would happily dive in after it.

"He makes a funny face - and it's actually to close his nostrils to stop the water from going into his nose."

Not all big cats enjoy the water but for Tigers from the hot climate of South-East Asia it's one way to cool down.

"Plus they hunt in and around water. They're an ambush predator so they wait for prey to come down to the water."

"Odin loves the water and he loves food," he said. "Not all big cats will dive and swim underwater even for meat treats."

Munro said tigers were the most powerful swimmers out of all land-dwelling animals.

Tragically, within our lifetimes, zoos might be the only places left to see these magnificent animals.

A century ago there were about 100,000 tigers in the wild. Now there are just 2,500 adults, with the Bengal variety almost extinct. None has been seen in the wild since the last white tiger was shot and killed in 1958.

White tigers are the most rare.