Discover the sad truth about the “down syndrome animals” that have taken the internet by storm in recent years.
A Google rummage around for “animals with Down syndrome” yields pages upon pages of articles, videos, and pictures purporting to depict “inspiring” or “paws-itively adorable” creatures with this genetic defect that leads to varied physical and mental disabilities.
A few of the particular “animals with Down syndrome” that regularly seem on the net have even attracted their own quasi-followings on-line. Chief among them might be Kenny the tiger, a rare white cat reclaimed from associate degree unethical stock farmer in 2002 by Arkansas’ Turpentine Creek life Reserve, wherever he lived till his death in 2008.
White tigers ar very rare to start with and Kenny was significantly distinctive as a result of, additionally to his stunning white coat, he suffered from genetic facial deformities together with associate degree abnormally short snout and wide face.
Then, on-line publishers and social media users took a glance at Kenny’s face and created the rather massive jump to the conclusion that he had congenital abnormality. In fact, it takes some careful scrolling through Google results before you see pages that ar business the truth: the notion of animals with congenital abnormality is sort of utterly fallacious.
The Truth About “Animals With Down Syndrome”
In truth, Kenny’s deformities are the results of generations of union instead of the type of modification that accounts for congenital abnormality in humans. as a result of white tigers like Kenny are thus rare in nature nonetheless thus desired for his or her distinctive fur, most that are alive these days ar the results of aggressive breeding programs that create significant use of union between white tigers so as to do and keep the white fur attribute alive.
The yankee Zoological Association truly prohibited these styles of breeding practices in 2011, stating that “Breeding practices that increase the physical expression of single rare alleles (i.e., rare genetic traits)…has been clearly joined with varied abnormal, weakening, and, at times, lethal, external and internal conditions and characteristics.”
Despite the unhappy truth regarding Kenny having long ago been better-known, several still erroneously believe he had congenital abnormality. One on-line video regarding Kenny and his supposed congenital abnormality (a video that mocks the condition, no less) has quite one.2 million views:
And Kenny is far from the only feline to be falsely advertised as having Down syndrome. Otto the kitten became an internet sensation in his home country of Turkey. When the tiny cat passed away at only a little more than two months old in 2014, online publishers reported that his early death was related to the effects of Down syndrome.
There’s just one problem: Cats of any kind, like virtually all animals, are unable to develop Down syndrome.
The Explanations For These Animals
The “animals with congenital abnormality” plastered everywhere the net even have varied conditions that will merely produce sure characteristics similar to those created by Down syndrome in humans. Kenny the tiger’s wide-set eyes and short snout were caused by union, Otto the kitten’s abnormal countenance were ne’er definitively explained however might are caused by a chromosomal mutation or a endocrine deficiency, and so on.
Quasi-Down Syndrome In Apes
While the notion of animals with Down syndrome is a myth, apes are the one animal that seems to sometimes exhibit a genetic defect at least comparable to Down syndrome. Apes have 24 pairs of chromosomes as opposed to humans’ 23 and some apes have been diagnosed with having an extra copy of chromosome 22, which is similar to chromosome 21 in humans.
According to a study from 2017, one chimpanzee with an extra chromosome 22 experienced growth defects, heart problems, and some of the other symptoms “common in human Down syndrome.” Nevertheless, the researchers only went so far as to state that this chimp’s condition was “analogous” to Down syndrome, not that it was Down syndrome. Furthermore, this case was only the second recorded instance of this particular chromosomal defect in a chimpanzee and researchers are still unsure of much about this disorder.
Either way, whether chimp or kitten or tiger, the “animals with Down syndrome” you might find on the internet are not what online publishers claim them to be.
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