While lion cubs are born in captivity around the world on a semi regular basis, getting a white lion is an extremely rare event. They aren’t an entirely different species, but rather are born with a trait that has been linked to a rare recessive gene that they inherit from their parents. Even if cubs have the rare genes, only about one if four will actually be born with a white coat.
Some white lions live in the wild, but they are also very rare. The few white lions in the wild all live in the Timbavati area of the Krueger National Park in South Africa. Lions with a a white coat are so rare and unique that some tribes in the area believe that they carry the spirits of their ancestors.
The cubs were born to a first-time mom called Ahadi, who is six years old and weighs 335 pounds.
The zoo intends to put the lioness and her cubs on public display soon, so that everyone who visits the zoo will have the chance to see them. For now, the cubs are spending time with their mother and are expected to open their eyes in approximately a week.
There are currently four other zoos in the United States that are home to white lions. The Cincinnati, Philadelphia, Toledo and the Capron Park Zoo in Attleboro, Massachusetts all have a white lion among their residents.
‘He looks like a snowball’: Rare white lion cub born at Nebraska zoo