World’s ‘ugliest’ tiger- known for his wide face, short snout and huge underbite – was 𝐛𝐨𝐫𝐧 on a tiger farm in Bentonville bred through incest in cruel bid to make money

Kenny’s owner claimed his face was deformed because he kept smashing it into a wall – and there were incorrect claims that his facial deformity was due to Down’s syndrome

This rare white tiger – cruelly dubbed the ‘ugliest’ big cat in the world – was bred through incest by an animal trafficker who wanted to make a small fortune


The animal, called Kenny, had a deformed face that erroneous reports claimed was caused by Down’s syndrome

His parents were brother and sister, and all of their cubs, except Kenny and a brother called Willie, who was severely cross-eyed, were still𝐛𝐨𝐫𝐧 or died at 𝐛𝐢𝐫𝐭𝐡.

The breeder claimed Kenny’s face was deformed because he kept smashing his face into a wall, and he said he hadn’t 𝓀𝒾𝓁𝓁ed the cub at 𝐛𝐢𝐫𝐭𝐡 because his son though the new𝐛𝐨𝐫𝐧 was “too cute”.

It was wrongly thought that Kenny had Down’s syndrome

At one time, traffickers could earn as much as £30,000 for a single white tiger cub, but the price is now about £4,000.

But Kenny’s facial deformity meant he had no chance of being sold to someone wanting a rare tiger as a pet.

The big cat – known for his wide face, short snout and huge underbite – was 𝐛𝐨𝐫𝐧 on a tiger farm in Bentonville, Arkansas, in 1998, and he lived there in filth.

Kenny was taken in by a sanctuary in the US state of Arkansas

He was rescued in 2000 when his breeder asked the Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, to take him, his brother Willie, his mum Loretta and his dad Conway.

The tigers, named after country music stars, were in filthy cages filled with their own faeces and the remains of dead chickens.

The sanctuary said the “gruff man” demanded £7,800 for the tigers, saying their deformities would lure visitors and boost ticket sales.

Kenny’s brother Willie was also taken in by the animal refuge

But he agreed to let them go for free after the refuge refused to pay.

Staff were shocked at Kenny’s appearance, especially his face.

Emily McCormack, animal curator for Turpentine Creek, told The Dodo in 2015: “The gentleman that we rescued him from said he would constantly run his face into the wall.

“But it was clear that that wasn’t the situation.

Kenny and his brother inside their cage

It was clear that Kenny’s appearance was due to inbreeding.

Ms McCormack said some media reports claimed Kenny had Down’s syndrome, but he appeared to be mentally normal.

She added: “He acted like the rest of them. He loved enrichment, he had a favourite toy… he ran around in his habitat, he ate grass, he just looked kind of silly.”

Kenny was cruelly labelled ‘the world’s ugliest tiger’, with people saying he looked more like a dog than a cat.

Kenny’s parents were brother and sister

But he was beloved at the sanctuary, who gave him a loving home.

Kenny’s life was a short one, sadly.

He died in 2008 at the age of 10 after battling melanoma.

Tigers in captivity can live to be more than 20-years-old

His case came to light again this week amid a rise in white tigers being slaughtered for fur and their meat boiled into stock cubes.

White tigers are not a species, according to experts, who say they are the offspring of an original Siberian/Bengal cross breeding.

In a post on its website, the Big Cat Rescue said all white tigers are inbred and not purebred.

It said: “The ONLY way to produce a tiger or lion with a white coat is through inbreeding brother to sister or father to daughter; generation after generation after generation.

“The kind of severe inbreeding that is required to produce the mutation of a white coat also causes a number of other defects in these big cats.”

Illegal farms breed them for fur, body parts and to be used as pets.

Their skins are turned into rugs, their bones are used for healing tonics and wines, and their meat is sold to restaurants.


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