BELGRADE (AFP) — Staff at Belgrade Zoo showed off two white lion cubs to the public on Sunday, the first of their rare species to be born here.
The cubs' mother was also white lioness, Masa, while their father is a regular-color lion, said zoo manager Vuk Bojovic while briefly showing them to visitors. White lions are not a separate species nor are they albino.
The genetically rare cubs, unique to the Timbavati area of South Africa, were born on Tuesday.
White lions are extremely rare in the wild because although they are considered divine by local people, they are also highly prized by hunters. A 2004 study counted only 30 of them in the African wild.
In a bid to preserve their population, they have been bred selectively for generations in zoos across the world.
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