For centuries, the existence of white lions was considered a legend. Lions with white fur were very rare in nature. Gradually, such animals became not only the subject of research, but also acquired a high value. White lions are specially bred for zoos, circuses and nature reserves. During the Middle Ages, a killed lion with white fur was considered the most valuable trophy for a hunter.
The white lion is a very rare animal. It is listed in the Red Book and is under state protection. In some countries, the white lion is also a sacred animal. For example, in Africa, the encroachment on the life of the king of beasts with white fur can be regarded as a challenge to the entire state.
The white lion is the hero of numerous legends of the peoples of Africa. One of the legends contains information that the snow-white lion was sent by the Gods to Earth to help humanity get rid of deadly diseases.
Myths about white lions
The white lion is not a distinct lion species. In their natural environment, individuals with white coloration appear in females with a standard shade of wool. At the same time, it would be wrong to call white lions albinos. Changes in such animals occur only with the color of the coat, and the pigment of the eyes, nose and paws does not have a reddish tint and does not differ from ordinary representatives of this species.
White wool in this case is a sign of a deviation, which is called leukism. In terms of physical indicators, such animals are no different from their counterparts, except for a creamy shade of wool. Thanks to numerous studies, it became known that leukism is transmitted at the genetic level. This fact became the reason for a successful experiment, thanks to which white lions are regularly born in reserves and zoos.
White lion habitats
White lions live wherever ordinary individuals live. However, there are very few such animals in the wild. In zoos and reserves, you can see white lions, mostly bred by artificial means.
The largest number of unusual animals live in the Sanbona Nature Reserve in South Africa - there are more than 100 of them. More than 20 white lions live in zoos in Germany. Recently, such animals were brought to Ukraine, where they also live in captivity.
Difficulties in the habitation of a white lion in the wild.
It is very difficult for a white lion to survive in its natural environment. The main reason for the death of such animals is their body color. For predators, the color of the coat plays almost a major role. Lions in this case are no exception. The yellow color of the coat helps to camouflage on any terrain, which allows you to sneak up to the victim as close as possible.
The white lion is a very valuable animal. The cost of one individual often reaches 140 thousand dollars.
White lion cubs cannot disguise themselves in the wild savannah. It is even more difficult for a lion with white fur to catch prey. That is why such animals often die. Some researchers argue that white lions are not as strong as their regular counterparts, but the reason for the unsuccessful hunts is obvious.