Rare White Lions Born in Serbia

Belgrade Zoo now has five of the rare big cats.

Posted: Dec. 18, 2008, 3 a.m. EST

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White lion cub
White lions — this one lives in South Africa  — are the result of a recessive gene that both parents must possess.
The Belgrade Zoo welcomed a pair of rare white lion cubs this week, born to a white lioness named Masa and a regular tawny-colored father named Vambo, AFP reports. Zoo manager Vuk Bojovic briefly showed the cubs to zoo visitors this week.

The pair of cubs marks the first white lions to be born at the Belgrade Zoo, which now has five of the rare lions. Programs are in place around the world to breed the genetically rare big cats to preserve their population; only about 300 of the cats exist worldwide.

White lions, while not a separate species of lion nor albino, are the result of a recessive gene that both parents must possess. The rare coloration originated in the Greater Timbavati and southern Kruger Park areas of South Africa. The cats are extremely rare in the wild, in part because their pelts are so prized by hunters. A 2004 study found fewer than 30 of them living in Africa.

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Gina    Rochester, NY

12/21/2008 10:23:15 AM

Cute kitty.

Rollie    Bristow, VA

12/19/2008 6:05:40 PM

cute!

Moonlight    Richmond, VA

12/19/2008 10:08:14 AM

I love White lions. Really, I Love All species of animals on this planet. This is a wonderful article and the picture of the cub is adorable. We all need to do more to preserve the fragile lives of all wildlife.

Jenn    Wallingford, CT

12/19/2008 8:54:15 AM

That white lion in the above picture just made my day. That is one of the most adorable things I've ever seen.

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