Rare White Lion Cub Born in Nebraska Zoo

Rare White Lion Cub Born in Nebraska Zoo

The birth of a white lion cub isn’t something that a zoo sees every day, which is why people at a zoo in Nebraska are extremely happy to see that one was born on November 21. The lion cub resides at the Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium in Omaha and was born along with two siblings, a male and a female. Upon seeing the little lion, Dennis Pate, the zoo’s director stated that he looked just like a snowball.

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.

AP The cub is one of three born late last week, two boys and one girl, to Ahadi, one of the zoo's lionesses.

AP
The cub is one of three born late last week, two boys and one girl, to Ahadi, one of the zoo’s lionesses.

Reference:

‘He looks like a snowball’: Rare white lion cub born at Nebraska zoo
http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/rare-white-lion-cub-born-nebraska-zoo-article-1.2025668