Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A pair of white lion cubs make their wobbly world debut

A pair of rare white lion cubs have taken their first shaky steps in public just a day after they were born.

Video footage showed one bravely squeaking and wobbling across the enclosure until he was rescued by his mother. She deftly picked them up in her teeth and took them to a sheltered spot to suckle.

The two youngsters were born to parents Vambo and Kiara at Belgrade Zoo. White cubs are extremely rare because both parents must have the same particular recessive gene.

They are part of a subspecies unique to the Timbavati area of South Africa. Although around 50 white lions have been bred in zoos for their unusual colour, they have not been seen in the wild since 1994.

Serbia's capital was delighted to welcome their new residents.

Zoo director, Vuk Bojovic, said: 'We now have five white lions. They are very rare and they used to kill them in Africa.

'If white lions were born they treated them as a nature's fault and they used to bring a person to kill those lions.'
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