The white lion is not a subspecies of lion instead it is a rare color mutation of the Transnvaal lion (Panthera leo krugeri). They seem to resemble in appearance with the tawny African lion (Panthera leo krugeri). Since it’s not a subspecies none of the white lions are found in the wild. They are bred in captivity.
White Lion Facts
- White lions were first discovered in 1938 in the Timbavati region.
- They are not albinos some of them have blue eyes but they might be selectively bred.
- White lions almost entirely white but their colors are caused by recessive trait which is derived in the same gene that causes albinism.
- The recessive gene is primarily responsible for causing white color in white lions.
- The first of the white lions were born in the largest game reserves in Africa, Kruger National Park. A female gave birth to three white lions in March, 1979.
- In 2004 West Midland Safari Park received four white lions.
- Currently there is a breeding program going at Inkwenkwezi Private Game Reserve, South Africa.
- “The white lions are not albinos and vary in colour from blonde to near-white and even red.”
- There are but few adult white lions remaining in the natural wild habitat as their existence is highly at stake. Lory Park Zoo in South Africa currently hosts two adult white lions and the pair produced eight white lion cubs in 2012.
- In France in Jurques Zoo four cubs were born back in 2007. These cubs weighed up to 1.5 kilograms (3.3 pounds).
- There is a fact put forward in the past that white lions are not able to survive in the wild because they cannot camouflage themselves. However this doesn’t turn out to be true as it lacks any scientific basis. Study suggests that white lions are equally apex predators as those of tawny lions.
- At present there seems to be no law that protects white lions from extinction.
Where you can see white lions…!
- Jurques Zoo (France)
- Belgrade Zoo (Serbia)
- Karachi Zoo (Pakistan)
- Toronto Zoo (Canada)
- Pafos Zoo (Cyprus)
- Tbilisi Zoo (Georgia)
- Night Safari (Singapore)
- The Kingdom of Zion (New Zealand)
- Magan Zoo Abony (Hungary)
- Reino Animal (Mexico)
Learn more: Lion Facts