ANIMALS

What Creature Could Be More Captivating Than Simba From Disney’s The Lion King? This Rare White Lion From South Africa

Date March 23, 2018 10:28

Endangerment of this species has been caused most likely because of humans.

gettyimages

White lion cub; why are they endangered?

gettyimages

Most people believed that the white coats of the lion meant they were only an albino mutation of normal lions.

gettyimages

Despite being proven false, all white lions were removed from their natural environments into zoos, circuses, scientific investigation, and canning industry.

White lions are not albino; their coloring is a result of a genetic mutation endemic to the Kruger Park region in South Africa.

gettyimages

Rare white lion cub born in South Africa

Two wildlife photographers, Daryl Dell and Mike Sutherland, were lucky enough to capture shots of the four-day-old cub, as it hid with its mother and siblings in a den at Kruger National Park.

It is the first to be born in three years; this information has delighted tourists on safari in South Africa. The safari guide and photographer had been taking a group of guests on a tour from the Ngala Safari Lodge when he was told of the cub sighting and rushed to the national park to catch a glimpse of the new arrival.

He's worked on safari for 15 years, sometimes waiting up to 17 hours a day for sightings of some of Africa's most impressive animals, but claims this beat them all.

South Africans protecting white lions

In 1991, Linda Tucker, a native South African, undertook the task of returning white lions to the wild. She and her team have successfully returned two prides of white lions to their natural habitat in Timbavati, a small, remote area in South Africa.

gettyimages

Here, they are protected from the canned hunting industry. Their successful survival has proven that their coloring in no way hinders their ability to live in their intended environment.

With help from donors, Tucker’s organization, the Global White Lion Protection Trust (WLT), purchased 5,000 acres of Timbavati land where three small prides — or families — of white lions live. According to the WLT, only 13 are left in the wild.

Here is an African proverb: ‘If you kill a white lion, you kill the world.’ Now, there may be a few hundred of these rare creatures in captivity, but only 13 living wild in their natural habitat. The world needs more people like Linda Tucker.