400px-Panthera tigris virgata

Caspian Tiger

The Panthera tigris sudanensis is a claimed subspecies of tiger, not scientifically recognised, allegedly living in Africa. It was described in 1951 by Paul E. P. Deraniyagala, based on a fur he saw on a Cairo bazaar. 

When he asked the seller for information, Deraniyagala was told the animal was shot in the Sudan. As Mazák wrote in 1980, it was either a joke or the seller felt obliged to be polite and answer any question, whether with truth or an invention. Deraniyagala took a picture of the specimen's fur, which, when published, made the scientists say, according to the pattern of stripes, it was most likely a fur of the Caspian tiger (Panthera tigris virgata) and the fur must have been smuggled from Iran or Turkey. At that time, the Caspian tiger was nearly extinct. If a photo were enough for a scientific description, Panthera tigris sudanensis would now be one of the Caspian tiger synonyms; as Mazák wrote, "the situation is half-humorous, half-ironic."

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