According to origo.hu, the white lion parents, and their three cubs born in the winter, have been surrounded by a news blackout, until now. The two-months-old cubs were presented to the audience yesterday, as they took their first steps in the run closely following their mother.
The workers of the zoo were a bit worried in the beginning, because it wasn’t sure that the white lion cubs born on the 8th of January could stay with their mother. Formerly, the star of the internet, Kókusz (Coconut), the white lion born in the summer, had to be fed artificially and looked after by keepers.
Luckily, the breed couple (the Dutch born male, Inkosi and his partner, the Czech Binti) has been looking after their cubs very caringly. The two female and the one male cubs are still being fed by breast-milk, but they will get meat-based food in a month.
The white animals belong to one of the populations of the South African, in other words: Kruger subspecies (Panthera leo krugeri). They only live in South Africa, in the Timbavati and Kruger National Reserves. Their light colours help them in hiding, because this region is characterised by white sandy river-beds and high grass.
These white lions are the most mysterious animals of Africa, since their existence was only presumed for centuries. The South African natives respected them as the direct delegates of the divine world. Their habitat, Timbavati means “the place where star lions came down to the earth”.
The first time people heard about them was in 1928, but they only got public attention in the 1970s after the publication of Chris McBride’s The White Lions of Timbavati book. Their stock significantly decreased due to hunting, the last white lion living in the wild was seen in 1994. The number of these special animals living in the world’s zoos and reserves doesn’t reach 500. Out of them, two sexually mature animals and their four offspring live in the Nyíregyháza Zoo (Sóstó Zoo).