The golden tiger has its white coat and gold patches due to an extremely rare colourvariation caused by a recessive gene. Around 30 tigers are believed to exist in the world but many more are carriers of the gene. Records of the golden or strawberry tiger date back to the 1900s, in India. The first golden tiger cub born in captivity was in 1983 and this came from standard colored Bengal tigers.
A golden tabby tiger is one with an extremely rare color variation caused by a recessive gene and is currently only found in captive tigers. Like the white tiger, it is a color form and not a separate species. In the case of the golden tiger, this is the wide band gene; while the white tiger is due to the color inhibitor (chinchilla) gene. There are currently believed to be fewer than 30 of these rare tigers in the world, but many more carriers of the gene.