Seven rare white lion and tiger cubs (three lions, four tigers) have been born in just the last week at Zoo Safari, a private zoo in Borysew, Poland. All are doing well. Their genders are not yet known because zookeepers have not yet touched the babes. Here’s some raw footage of the white lion cubs:
The lions are the fourth litter for Azira and Sahim. The new cubs join eight siblings. “We’ve expanded the global population by 15 per cent,” the zoo’s owner Andrzej Pabich said of the white lions. There are only a few hundred white lions on the planet.
“The selection process is a lot of work, then we have to choose the right food and create the right environment to have this many offspring.”
We hope these cubs are embraced and nurtured by Azira. In 2014, she rejected two of her cubs, who had to move in with the zookeeper (I want that job!)
White Lions/Tigers are Not Albinos
Contrary to what some believe, white tigers and lions are not albinos, but a coloration provided via a recessive gene. This gene makes it possible for zoos and wildlife parks to selectively breed for the color. Here’s more from Wikidpedia:
A recessive gene gives white lions their unusual colors. A similar gene also produces white tigers. White lions can therefore be selectively bred for zoos, animal shows and wildlife parks. Such breeding involves inbreeding and can result in inbreeding depression (genetic defects, reduced fertility, and physical defects), although this has not yet been found to cause hind-limb paralysis or serious heart defects, which would indicate a severe level of inbreeding. People are concerned about white lions mating with lions of other alleles, due to possible extinction of the white lion. However, this is not valid as the offspring will inherit the recessive white gene and therefore make it possible to produce white offspring in a later generation. Some critics maintain that white lions should not be introduced into the wild because of the inbreeding that has taken place in zoos and breeding camps. However, ethical reintroduction programs such as The Global White Lion Protection Trust have ensured through the use of scientific methodologies that the lions in their program are not inbred
So, who’s ready to book a flight to Poland to see these adorbs?