• News

  • The white baby lion of our zoo made its public debut today
    2016. 09. 28.

     

     

    After a 100 days long pregnancy, the lion cub was born on 26 of August. She was raised by her mother until her mother became unable to produce milk. From that moment, caring for the cub with such a special fur coloration had to be undertaken by one of our keepers.

    The 5 weeks old small lion is growing well, gaining 70-100 grams weight as an average every day. Her present weight is 2720 g. Her caretaker, Anikó Herlicska, who raised more lions already, feeds her six times a day with 50 ml dog formula milk each time and gives her cod liver oil and gut flora supplement also.

    Since it is the interest of the small animal to get as few human impact as possible, the zookeeper will get in contact with her only at feeding times. Till this time, the small cub lived in a place where visitors were not allowed to enter but she will have a new home in the Victoria House from tomorrow. At that place, visitors can follow her growing through a window and they can see how the rare big cat is playing and eating. The small lioness has not been named yet, therefore keepers wait for name proposals which are collected in a box placed next to her enclosure.

    The white lion parents form a pair in Sóstó Zoo since 2015. Previously, the male Inkosi, who came from the Netherlands and his pair, the Czech Binti lived together in one group with the other normal-coloured lions. It was this year that they were moved to a separate enclosure with the unconcealed aim of having a white offspring. Lion cub will have a light beige colour only if both of its parents possess the same gene producing this rare fur coloration.

    The white-coloured animals belong to one population of the South African or also named Kruger lion subspecies (Panthera leo krugeri). These animals live only in Timbavati and Kruger National Park in South Africa where their white colour serves for camouflage because this is an area of white sand river beds and high grass.

    White-coloured Kruger lions are one of the most mysterious animals of Africa because their existence was only a suspicion for centuries. South African indigenous people admired them as creatures directly sent by the Gods. Their habitat’s name, Timbavati means “the place, where star-lions came down to the Earth”. It was in 1928 for the first time that these rare predators could be heard about. They got public attention only after the edition of the book: The white lions of Timbavati written by Chris McBride. Since then, their existence became known world-wide and they became the desired hunting trophy of white people. Due to hunting, their number decreased significantly and 1994 was the last time when a wild living specimen was observed. Recently, there are less than 500 animals living in zoos and wildlife reserves. Two adults of them and already their offspring also are living in Sóstó Zoo.