10 Scientific Facts about White Lions

White Lions are not albinos, but a genetic rarity unique to one endemic region on the globe: the Timbavati region.
The Genetic Marker that makes White Lions unique has recently been identified by science (in 2012)
The White Lions are currently classified under the general species classification Panthera leo, although this is likely to change after the genetic research undertaken by the Global White Lion Protection Trust reveals important reasons for sub-speciation of this rare phenotype.
The earliest recorded sighting of white lions in the Timbavati region was in 1938. However, the oral records of African elders indicate that these unique animals survived in this region for many centuries.
Since their discovery by the West, white lions and those lions carrying the unique gene have been hunted, and forcibly removed from their natural endemic habitat.
The unique white lion gene is carried by certain of the tawny coloured lions in the region, and white cubs occurred in numerous prides in the region.
The last white lion was seen in the wild in 1994, after which time they were technically extinct in the wild.
The idea that white lions are genetically inferior to ordinary tawny lions has not been scientifically tested.
The idea that White Lions cannot survive in the wild due to perceived lack of camouflage has not been scientifically tested. (Research by lion ecologist, Jason Turner in the WLT’s re-introduction project is however showing that the hunting success rate is equal to, if not more successful than tawny lions in the neighbouring Timbavati reserve.)
Currently, there is no law nationally or internationally that protects the White Lions from being wiped off the face of the earth.
 

Zihra (Mara’s daughter) and Cub

 The indigenous beliefs

Beyond the science are ancient beliefs centering around the White Lions. The indigenous people of the region hold that the White Lions are a gift of God from the stars, heralding great changes on earth, warning mankind for his own survival. White lions are known by the African Elders as “Star Lions” and the name Tsimba Vati- is an ancient one, directly translating into Lion Star.
Shangaan people believe that the white lions are guardians of the land.
Words of Maria Khosa (lion queen of Timbavati): “Loku u Dlaya ngala basu u dlaya tiko” (If you kill a white lion, you kill the world). Therefore their guardianship extends to the entire earth.
Marah was the white lioness that led the first pride of white lions to walk in freedom in the Greater Timbavati region. She was born on Christmas day in Bethlehem in the year 2000. Her children and grand-children are now free roaming and self sufficient at Tsau! Conservancy.
Many people who have come to be in a space of love and respect with the White lions at Tsau! conservancy have received a profound life-changing experience!

Currently, there is no law nationally or internationally that protects the White Lions from being wiped off the face of the earth.

The idea that White Lions cannot survive in the wild due to perceived lack of camouflage has not been scientifically tested. (Research by lion ecologist, Jason Turner in the WLT’s re-introduction project is however showing that the hunting success rate is equal to, if not more successful than tawny lions in the neighbouring Timbavati reserve.)

The idea that white lions are genetically inferior to ordinary tawny lions has not been scientifically tested.

The last white lion was seen in the wild in 1994, after which time they were technically extinct in the wild.

Since their discovery by the West, white lions and those lions carrying the unique gene have been hunted, and forcibly removed from their natural endemic habitat.

The unique white lion gene is carried by certain of the tawny coloured lions in the region, and white cubs occurred in numerous prides in the region.

The earliest recorded sighting of white lions in the Timbavati region was in 1938. However, the oral records of African elders indicate that these unique animals survived in this region for many centuries.

The White Lions are currently classified under the general species classification Panthera leo, although this is likely to change after the genetic research undertaken by the Global White Lion Protection Trust reveals important reasons for sub-speciation of this rare phenotype.

The Genetic Marker that makes White Lions unique has recently been identified by science (in 2012)

White Lions are not albinos, but a genetic rarity unique to one endemic region on the globe: the Timbavati region.