These incredible pictures are the first-ever photographs of new-born white lions in the wild, of which just 13 remain

 Every youngster loves to play in the mud, and it’s no different for these rascally lion cubs. But they’re going to give their mum an extra headache, because three of the four new siblings are ultra-rare white lions... and getting the dirt out of their creamy fur is going to require a lot of licking.

These extraordinary pictures are the first-ever photographs of new-born white lions in the wild. They are found in just one place on Earth, the Greater Timbavati region in South Africa, where just 13 remain — and that total includes these cubs. It’s serious work, being so young, so rare and so cute. But these boisterous characters have got their paws full exploring and practising their play-fighting. So while the older members of the pride keep a watch for danger, the cubs have fun.

The new arrivals are part of a pride with six adults, including two fully grown white lionesses. Cape Town photographer Scott Ramsay, 39, who took these pictures, was able to identify the cubs’ mother: ‘She has piercing blue eyes,’ he said, ‘and together with her white coat, she was supremely photogenic.’ But it is not known which male is the father because the cubs are not albinos but owe their remarkable colouring to a genetic twist, which many Timbavati lions carry.

The leucism pigment gene gives them blue or green-grey eyes instead of brown, and a pelt that remains white all their lives. Just like a human family trait, the recessive gene can lie dormant for generations and then reappear — so any of the tawny males could have fathered these cubs. It is even possible for two brown adults to have a litter of white cubs — but only if they are Timbavati lions.

The indigenous Shangaan tribe has known about the white lions for centuries, and their medicine men traditionally believe them to be animal angels. One legend says they were the first creatures to be created by the gods — and when life becomes extinct the roar of the white lions will be the last sound on Earth.

Responses to "First-Ever Photos Of Newborn White Lions In The Wild "

  1. Anonymous says:

    Sacred white lions of Timbavati. This is wonderful news. Children of the Sun God.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Stunning, aren't they? Proud mama....

  3. Anonymous says:

    I hope that South Africa protects these lions against hunters and poachers.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Only 67% of cubs make it to adult hood. That is due to natural lion behavior. When lions fight over territory, the dominant males usually kill all the lion cubs, so thy can mate with the females and carry on their own bloodlines. Let's hope these beautiful animals don't fall prey to the worst killers on earth - humans, but that they don't become pawns in any territorial fights and they grow up to become healthy and strong and carry on their own bloodlines. They truly are magnificent creatures.

  5. Anonymous says:

    They are so precious! Hope they can live a long life.....♥

  6. Anonymous says:

    I worry now that they've been "outed" and their location is now world-wide public. In their lust for money and power, people would capture, kill, skin, behead (as with Cecil) these beauties. I hope they are guarded as a national (planetary!) treasure.

  7. Anonymous says:

    You could have left out their location. Alsthough i know poachers already exist where they are, keeping the ones who arent there away would have been good by not revealing their location.
    We don't know who gets a hold of these articles and reads them. Lets hope this mama and her cubs stay safe and that they grow up with out Human Beings getting involved in their lives unless it is to help protect them. C:

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