A Zoo owner in Boryszew, Poland just got the cutest surprise when three white lion cubs were born to rare white lion parents.
Andrzej Pabich has the honor of caring for three adorable baby white lion cubs which are very rare, Pabich estimates that there are only 90 or so white lions in existence.
“Luckily the birth went all smoothly,” Pabich explained to USA Today. “We had doubts whether it would be all OK: will [mom ] reject them, will she have milk? But all went luckily well in the end. The mother accepted [them], is feeding them and is very caring.”
White lions often have defects that prevent giving birth, or another problem is that the mothers may reject the cubs, two usually, triplets are rare.
Pabich told The Associated Press that his 2 ½ -year-old white lioness Azira has been patiently feeding and caring for the cubs, which were born Jan. 28. Their father, is 3 ½-year old Sahim, who is also white.
White lions are more rare than the African leopard and the legendary snow leopard of the Himalayas. Rumors of the existence of pure White Lions have existed in the African oral tradition for centuries. But there is only one place on earth where they have actually been seen, the Timbavati region bordering South Africa’s Kruger National Park.
The White Lions of this region are not albinos, but a genetic rarity of Panthera leo, which occurred naturally in only one location on earth. They are believed to be of spiritual significance because of their mystery and the timing of their discovery, since they were thought to exist in whispers in the 1930’s, but not officially discovered until the 70’s.
According to the “White Lion” protection site, only 7 of these rare animals have been successfully reintroduced to their natural habitat of Timbavati. This has put them on the brink of extinction.
Image via Wikimedia Commons