Golden Tigers (or Golden Tabby Tigers) are an extremely rare color mutation that is thought to affect only 30 tigers in the world - all in captivity. The genetic mutation in captive tigers can be traced back to a recessive gene that was in a white tiger named Bhim. Bhim was a carrier of the gene that caused this color mutation, what is thought to be the wide band gene (a recessive trait), and was mated to his sister who also held the wide band gene. Neither of these tigers showed the characteristics of a Golden Tiger but one of the cubs did. The cub was born in 1987.
It is thought that Golden Tigers once roamed the wild but the last two were shot and killed in 1932 and only through captive breeding was this color mutation brought back.