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Between the (White) Lions


I loooove baby animals so my jaw practically dropped when I saw these rare beauties. Check out the four white lion cubs that were recently bred and born at the Mogo Zoo. Located in Australia, it has an internationally-renowned breeding program now with a pride of 16 white lions . . . and is the only zoo in the country to exhibit the species. The four babes seen here with young keeper Noah Monor are Lika (front) and (from left) Tahba, Makulu, and Apple. White lions get their coloring – or lack thereof – due to a recessive gene. Learn what it is (hint: it's not albinism) when you read more.

Leucism is a condition characterized by reduced pigmentation in animals. Unlike albinism, it is caused by a reduction in all types of skin pigment, not just melanin. The recessive gene, leucism, causes a loss of pigmentation in the lions' fur and skin but their eyes and paw pads are the same as traditionally-colored lions. These animals are so rare that they haven't been observed in the wild for over 12 years – in fact, in 1995, the global population of white lions was a mere 10!

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