The white lion is a very rare subspecies that is in danger of extinction. The color of white lions comes from a recessive color-inhibiting gene, which is equally responsible for the color of white tigers.
According to the belief, its genetics has always been in that of normal lions. Still, because it is a recessive gene, it is infrequent that this type of lions appears. It had been seen only for the first time in the ’70s. In the wild, they cannot survive for a long time due to their white fur. They do not have the indicated camouflage that normal lions allow them to hunt without any problem.
Fun Facts About White Lion
- These lions met for the first time in Timbavati. For the local tribe of this region, white lions are sacred.
- According to African beliefs, this animal is divine, and if it crosses your path, it gives happiness.
- Its existence has been relevant in public since the 1970s by Chris McBride in his book The White Lions of Timbavati.
- Lions can target selective breeding intended to obtain white lion lineages for zoos and circuses.
- The breeding of lions presents risks of affiliation and the appearance of genetic problems such as heart problems or paralysis.
- A white lion breeding program was launched at the Zion Wildlife Gardens in New Zealand that has three females and a male named Gando.
The Origin Of African White Lion
First of all, it should be clear that white lions are not a different species of lion, and neither are albino lions. White lions belong to the species of reddish African lions, although a rare mutation in color (leucism) gives them this white color.
According to most studies, it is a recessive gene, so it is infrequent to appear. What is certain is that, for years, it has been threatened by the action of the human being, causing a significant reduction of the wild population.
The first tests of sightings of these animals go back to oral legends of different African tribes, where they considered the white lion symbol of divinity and good luck. In 1975, more scientific observations were made to study and understand this phenomenon.
Where To Find White Lions In Africa?
Being a recessive gene, and the great difficulties to survive in the natural environment, the population of white lions is very localized. More specifically, the only place to see white lions in total freedom is the Timbavati private reserve, adjacent to the Kruger National Park. Although the sightings are not guaranteed, the wildlife is unpredictable. In recent months, we have been lucky enough to cross white male lions.