Facts About White Lions

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The sight of white lions is something very rare. But if you are lucky you can see them in the Timbavati region of South Africa. They are simply unbelievable animals with white coat that offer an enchanting view.

Fact 1 When Did The White Lions Come Into Focus

White lions are not albinos. The color of their coat is white. It is believed that they are natives of South African Timbavati region and have been living there from quite some years. However, according to records, these white-haired lions were first spotted officially in the second part of the 1920s. But they drew th

Fact 2 Origin And Description Of White Lions

White lions are like all other lions that live in different parts of the globe. The main difference is in the color of their coats. The genus of lions is Panthera and the family they belong to is the Felidae. It is believed that Lions or Panthera Leo, their scientific name were first born in Africa thousands of years ago. It has been found that there are 8 sub-species of lions and Panthera Leo Krugeri is one of them which we know as the Southeast African Lion. These lions are mostly found in the south eastern regions of Africa and the Kruger National Park belongs to this region. Hence white lions are referred to as African White Lions. All of them may not have pure white coats. Some are sandy brown in color.

Fact 3 What Causes The White Color Of These Lions

There are other animal species also that are white in color. Some of them are often seen like the white rabbits, white giraffes, and white squirrels and there are certain birds also that are absolutely white in color like the white swan, heron, owls and others. These living creatures like the white lions are extremely attractive especially because of the white color.

According to researchers, the white color of the coats is due to “albinism” which is a congenital disorder. This disorder causes partial and sometimes complete loss of the pigment known as melanin in the skin, hair and eyes as well. It has been observed that albino lions are white in color and have white eyes too. But the color of eyes, lips and the pads of the paws of white lions are absolutely normal. They have yellowish-brown or golden color eyes like ordinary lions. There are certain rare lions that have blue-colored eyes.

Fact 4 What is Laicism?

Some are of the opinion that white coat of lions is due to Laicism or chinchilla mutation. This reduces the deposition of pigments along the shafts of hair of lions and this causes the coats to become lighter in color. Hence the color of such lions vary from pale blonde coats to nearly full white color. The cubs that are born of white lioness initially have white hair and as they grow bigger the white color fades to a blonde shade. All cubs are not therefore white because it is a genetic condition. But it has still not been ascertained why lions specifically of the Timvabati region suffer from this category of mutation.

Fact 5 Population Of White Lion

Since the white color coats of lions is due to genetic mutation, the number of such lions is not high. Presently these white lions are about to become extinct in the wild areas and are preserved mostly in the Zoos. Measures are being taken to preserve them in South Africa. The Global White Lion Protection Trust has taken initiative to restore them back to their natural habitat in Timvabati regions. Africans believe that white lions are messengers of God and their white color is a sign of purity.

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