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Three Rare White Lions Born in Ukraine Zoo

19. December 2012 by Lorena 0 Comments

Zookeepers at Yalta Zoo in Crimea, Ukraine have a few new cute and cuddly charges: a litter of three white lion cubs have been born. The birth of white lions is a very rare event. A litter of three is even more unusual. The cubs are currently being kept indoors in a zoo administration building and being bottle-fed by staff because of the extreme cold snap in Ukraine.

 

There are only about 500 white lions left worldwide. Nearly all of those live in captivity, with white lions having been driven to extinction in the wild by hunting and territory loss. Reintroduction efforts are underway, and two prides now exist in a private sanctuary in the Timbavati bushveld region. White lions get their pale shade from a gene that supresses the production of melanin. Their white color helped conceal ancient lions when they hunted in the snowy arctic.

The Yalta Zoo is the only privately-owned zoo in Ukraine. There are over 120 animal species in the zoo, including Ukraine’s only white tiger. The zoo is open daily, and visitors can buy food to feed all of the animals with the exception of the zoo’s predators.

 

Photos: English Russia & The Guardian