Sostozoo.hu reports that a white lion cub was just born in the Animal Park of Nyíregyháza last Friday (August 26). The little lion is being taken care of by both of its parents. Below you can also watch a video featuring the newest member of the Zoo.
The Animal Park of Nyíregyháza has been a home for a white lion couple since 2005: Inkosi, the male counterpart is from the Netherlands, while the lioness Binti is from the Czech Republic. When they got to the Park they lived in a group with other “normal” coloured lions but this year the two white ones became separated from the rest in order to encourage procreation.
The separation was necessary because the lion cub would be of beige colour only in the case when both parents have the genes causing this rare colour. The white animals belong to the South African subspecies that is also called Kruger subspecies (Panthera leo krugeri), and live in the areas of the Timbavati and Kruger National Parks in South Africa.
The inhabited region is characterised by white-sanded riverbeds and high grass, therefore, their colour helps them in hiding. The white-coloured lions of the Kruger breed are of the most mysterious animals of Africa, for centuries their existence was only suspected.
The indigenous people of South Africa respected the lions and regarded them as if they were sent directly from the world of the divine. Even the name of their habitat, Timbavati means a place where the star-lions came down.
The first time any news about these rare animals spread was in 1928, but more attention was given to them after Chris McBride’s book called The White Lions of Timbavati was published in the ‘70s. The world then became aware of the existence of these beautiful predators and unfortunately therefore the lions became desired trophies of hunters.
The hunting resulted in the major decrease of their population, the last time a wild one, that is, one living in the wild, was seen was in 1994. But the number of those living in zoos and reservations is also really small, less than 500 can be found in such places. Of those 500, two mature lions, and now their cub, live in the Animal Park of Nyíregyháza.
The little one was born after a 100-day long gestation and has a colour of light beige, similar to its parents. Predictably, the cub’s eyes will open in two weeks’ time, and its sex would be known in a few weeks’ time, at the first medical examination.
Below, you can watch the video showing the 1-day old cub and the parents, shared by the Animal Park. 🙂
Copy editor: bm
Source: sostozoo.hu, facebook.com/sostozoo