The six-year-old male Bengal regularly dives into a large glass-fronted tank to gobble up chunks of meat in front of amazed crowds at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom Zoo in Vallejo, near San Francisco. He is about 10ft long from nose to tail, and is an excellent swimmer.
White tigers – the colour is caused by an unusual genetic combination – are rare in the wild, although there are several dozen in zoos.
Odin was hand-raised at the zoo. And after he was weaned, his British trainer Lee Munro discovered his remarkable skill: when a lump of meat was thrown into a pool of water, Odin would happily dive in after it.
In fact, although Big Cats generally do not like water, tigers of all types have been spotted taking to the water to hunt and even to bathe for pleasure.
Odin can now be observed in action – a large pool with glass walls has been constructed at the zoo to allow visitors to watch him gliding through the water with all the grace of a polar bear.
Tragically, within our lifetimes, zoos might be the only places left to see these magnificent animals.
A century ago there were about 100,000 tigers in the wild. Now there are just 2,500 adults, with the Bengal variety almost extinct.
Michael Hanlon @Daily mail