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The first rare white lion cub was born in three years

A white lion cub, the first to be born in three years, has thrilled tourists on a safari in South Africa.The white lion is classified as “critically endangered.” According to the IUCN Red List, there are only 13 remaining in the world.

The four-day-old cub was taken by two wildlife photographers as it hid with its mother and brothers in a den at Kruger National Park, South Africa.“It was once-in-a-lifetime,” said Daryl Dell, 40, a safari guide from Zambia. “I will never forget and always appreciate the sight of the tiny cub being carried by its mother in front of me.” He has spent 15 years on safari, waiting up to 17 hours a day for amazing creatures like the giraffe, leopard, and elephant to appear. But he said that this one beat them all.

“This was a once-in-a-lifetime experience I’ll never forget and cherish for the rest of my life.“We had heard there was a lioness with a white cub at her den, so we waited there in the hopes to see her moving the cubs.“It was towards the end of the morning, a time when hyenas and other dangers are less likely because of the heat. I was fortunate that my visitors were exceptionally patient.

“As if it wasn’t enough for the lioness to carry one cub already, she then carried this white one and another.” “We were going to go out and look for leopards and wild dogs. We never imagined we would witness anything like it.”

Another tour guide and wildlife photographer, Mike Sutherland, 30, captured the first photo of the cub before other tourists on safari flocked to see the lioness and her three cubs.Last Monday, Mr. Sutherland had been guiding a group of guests on a tour from Ngala Safari Lodge when he was informed of the cub’s arrival, and he rushed to see it.

Mike was only able to shoot photographs from 25 meters away due to viewing restrictions that safeguard the endangered animals.“We arrived at the cave and immediately saw a flash of white,” Mike added. A newborn cub of approximately four or five days old was in front of its mother.

“White lion cubs are incredibly unusual to encounter, and we were in complete astonishment given its age.The last verified ones were born in 2015, and it is thought that one white lion male still lives in the Kruger National Park, but no recent information is accessible. “These cubs don’t generally survive to adulthood. In the wild, being a white lion comes with disadvantages because your coat does not permit you to blend in as effectively as a tawny-colored lion would.

 

“This new cub is now the only one of its kind in Kruger because it was born to two tawny-colored lions with the recessive ‘white’ gene. When two tawny-colored lions mate and both have the recessive ‘white’ gene, babies like this are produced.”On March 5, Mike discovered the den while he was out walking on the bank of the Timbavati River. He saw the cub and its family from 25 meters away along a dirt road, and because of strict rules, he had to get the photographs from there.

“The photographs are significant to me since they are the first record of this particular cub, which is the first to be born in the area in many years.”The image also shows the cub’s vulnerability from within the cave. “Our target for the safari was to explore locations that offered excellent game viewing and to take full advantage of any opportunity we were given.

“We were fortunate enough to witness white lion cubs, leopard cubs, numerous lion prides, lions hunting, giraffes fighting, and elephants swimming,” he continued.“I’d like to continue my career as a private safari guide and show people the oddities such as this one.”