In a truly rare and remarkable event, a zoo in Ukraine welcomed the birth of five white lions cub. These majestic creatures, with their snowy white fur and ᴘɪᴇʀᴄɪɴɢ blue eyes, are a sight to behold and a true marvel of nature.
These Five Stunning White Cubs Are Among The Rarest Lions In The World
Born in Ukraine two weeks ago, three of them in a safari park and two in a zoo in the coastal city of Yalta. They all share a ʀᴇᴄᴇssɪᴠᴇ ɢᴇɴᴇ that gives them their unique white color.
They have been brought together to be raised by keepers at the Yalta Zoo. The cubs have no names but will be given some in a few months when they grow up.
The white lion is a rare ɢᴇɴᴇᴛɪᴄ ᴍᴜᴛᴀᴛɪᴏɴ of the African lion, and it is estimated that only around 300 of them are left in the world.
They are found primarily in South Africa’s Timbavati region, where they are considered sᴀᴄʀᴇᴅ by the local people.
White lions are not ᴀʟʙɪɴᴏs. Like blue eyes in humans, the animals’ white color is caused by a ʀᴇᴄᴇssɪᴠᴇ ɢᴇɴᴇ shared by both parents.
This Is A Big Surprise
Yalta Zoo’s vet, Alexander Dyakov, told the International Business Times: ‘We expected that the cubs would be beige or straw-colored, the natural color of lions, but we were pleasantly surprised.
‘That is, it’s a great rarity for Ukraine, Europe, and the world. White lions are a real rarity.
‘And we have two female lion cubs, absolutely healthy, absolutely strong. We wait for them to grow up and be exhibited.’
The animals are being raised in the zoo director’s office for now. The tawny lioness mother didn’t produce enough milk, so zookeepers gave them a bottle every two hours.
White lions are native to only the Greater Timbavati region of South Africa, characterized by white sandy riverbeds and long grass scorched pale by the sun.
The White Lion Is Considered A Sᴀᴄʀᴇᴅ Animal
They are regarded as sᴀᴄʀᴇᴅ animals by the people of that region. Still, after Europeans ‘discovered’ them in the 1970s, many were ᴛᴀᴋᴇɴ from the wild to ᴄᴀᴘᴛɪᴠᴇ ʙʀᴇᴇᴅɪɴɢ and ʜᴜɴᴛɪɴɢ operations, according to the Global White Lion Protection Trust.
These ʀᴇᴍᴏᴠᴀʟs, along with lion ᴄᴜʟʟɪɴɢ and ᴛʀᴏᴘʜʏ ʜᴜɴᴛɪɴɢ of male lions, ᴅᴇᴘʟᴇᴛᴇᴅ the ɢᴇɴᴇ ᴘᴏᴏʟ, and the animals have been technically ᴇxᴛɪɴᴄᴛ in the wild for the past 12 years.
In their natural habitat, white lions are regarded as ‘apex ᴘʀᴇᴅᴀᴛᴏʀs,’ able to ʜᴜɴᴛ day and night successfully and ᴛᴀᴋᴇ ᴅᴏᴡɴ ᴘʀᴇʏ as large as giraffes.
The White Lion Is Not Yet Classified As ᴇɴᴅᴀɴɢᴇʀᴇᴅ
Despite their rarity, white lions are not yet classified as ᴇɴᴅᴀɴɢᴇʀᴇᴅ because biologists still regard them as ultimately the same as their tawny equivalents.
The Global White Lion Protection Trust is campaigning for white lions to be recognized as a subspecies of lions so they can be protected under international law.
Efforts are being made to protect the remaining white lions, including through conservation programs and ᴄᴀᴘᴛɪᴠᴇ ʙʀᴇᴇᴅɪɴɢ initiatives.
The birth of these five cubs in Ukraine is a testament to the critical work done to preserve this rare and beautiful species.
For visitors, seeing these rare white lions up close is sure to be an unforgettable experience.
But beyond the thrill of seeing these majestic animals in person, the birth of these cubs is also a reminder of the need to protect and preserve the natural world and its incredible creatures.