The Chinese Safari Park recently welcomed its newest and by far the cutest residents. Four white lions were born in the Nantong Forest Safari Park in the Jiangsu region of eastern China. Cubs, all males, and perfectly healthy.
The adorable lion cubs were born last November and the park staff will continue to take care of them until they are strong enough to reunite with the rest of the lions that live there.
White lions are extremely rare animals. Their unique white fur is the result of a recessive gene called leucism. Albinism is unlikely, leucism causes partial loss of pigmentation. However, the eyes, lips, or even claws remain normal.
Unfortunately, these majestic creatures are not only rare, but they are also endangered. According to the Red List of the International Union for Conservation of Nature, white lions are an endangered subspecies.
While it’s hard to predict how many of these magnificent wildcats live in captivity, reports say there are about 300 of them worldwide. So every time a white lion is born, it’s very exciting.
Even though their numbers are declining significantly, white lions are not yet recognized as a separate species, so they are not protected by law.
“The white lion gene needs to be studied, understood and protected. “