Photo/Illutration

Editor's note: This is part of a series of videos offering an up-close perspective on the animal kingdom. A special 360-degree video camera system was set up in zoos and other facilities to show how the animals view their world as they interact.

Also visit our special 360-DEGREE LIVES page (http://t.asahi.com/360lives), where you can watch all the previous videos.

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Characterized by white fur, black stripes and bright eyes, the white tiger is believed to bring good luck in its native India.

The mysterious and powerful looking big cats are a popular attraction at Tobu Zoo in Miyashiro, Saitama Prefecture.

One day in early October, two white tigers emerged from the backyard of their pen shortly after horse meat was placed on a wooden platform mounted with a camera. But Spica hissed at younger brother Apollo, which retreated to a corner of the exhibition facility and stared hungrily as Spica devoured the meat.

It was pitiful to see Apollo licking the platform after the meat was gone.

“In nature, only the strong survive,” observed zookeeper Hiroki Itakura, 30.

Still, Itakura makes sure that both animals are fed equally.

As a special favor, the zookeeper took us to the back of the exhibition facility. When the door was opened, Spica stood up in greeting on the other side of the wire mesh. Apollo lay next to its feet, watching us intently.

The big cats looked adorable, but menacing when they yawned and bared their teeth.

The white tiger is a pigmentation variant of the Bengal tiger living in India. According to Itakura, there are about 270 white tigers in the world, of which 37 are registered in Japanese zoos.

Tobu Zoo has five of them.