Legend has it that once upon a time, evil spirits sent a terrible curse on the inhabitants of the earth, many people died because of painful diseases. People began to pray to the gods for help, the skies took pity on the suffering and sent their messenger to the earth — a mighty white lion, who with his wisdom taught people to fight against diseases and promised to protect them in difficult times. It is believed that while white lions exist on earth, there is no place in the hearts of people for suffering and despair.
White lions — now it is a reality, but more recently they were considered only a beautiful legend, as they did not meet in nature at all. In 1975, two scientists and researchers, who studied the animal world of Africa and spent more than one year searching for traces of white lions, quite accidentally discovered three snow-white cubs born with red eyes like a sky with red eyes. The lions were placed in the reserve in order to reproduce the kind of the legendary king of animals — the white lion.
Currently, there are about three hundred individuals on the planet, this species that was once lost for humanity. Now the white lion is not an animal living on the expanses of the African prairies; the legendary lions protect and create comfortable conditions for their breeding in the reserves of the whole world.
Features and habitat
Lions belong to the class of mammals, a group of predators, the cat family. They have a short fur, the snow-white color of which, from the birth of the animal, gradually darkens and the adult individual becomes ivory. At the tip of the tail, the white lion has a small tassel, which in black counterparts has a black color.
The length of the body of a male can reach about 330 cm, the lioness, as a rule, is slightly less — 270 cm. The weight of a white lion varies from 190 to 310 kg. Lviv is distinguished from females by a huge mane of thick and long hair, which begins to grow on the head, on the sides of the muzzle and smoothly passes into the shoulder section. The pomp of the mane gives the king of animals a majestic and powerful appearance, she is able to both attract females and intimidate male rivals.
It is scientifically proven that these animals are not albinos. There are white lions with both sky blue and golden eyes. The lack of pigmentation in the color of skin and wool indicates a lack of a special gene.
Scientists assume that about 20 thousand years ago the white lions of Africa lived among the vast expanses of snow and ice. And that is why they have a snow-white color, which served as an excellent disguise during the hunt. As a result of changes in climatic conditions on the planet, white lions became inhabitants of steppes and shrouds in hot countries.
Due to the light color, the lion becomes quite vulnerable animals, which during the hunt can not sufficiently hide to obtain the necessary amount of food.
And for poachers the light skin of an animal is the most valuable trophy. Lions with such an “unusual” color for nature, it is very difficult to hide in the grass and as a result they can become prey of other animals.
The largest number of white lions is located in the west of South Africa in the giant Preserve of Sambon. For them, and other species of rare animals, created as close as possible to the natural conditions of habitat in the wild.
Man does not interfere with the processes of natural selection, hunting and breeding of the inhabitants of the protected area. The largest zoos of the countries of the world, such as Germany, Japan, Canada, Russia, Malaysia, the USA, keep on their open spaces this legendary animal.
Character and way of life
These majestic white lions represented in the photo are mainly inhabited by large groups — prides. The lionesses prey and hunt mainly lions, and the males guard the pride and the territory. After the onset of puberty, males are expelled families and after some time the strongest of them create their pride.
In one such family can be from one to three males, several females and young offspring of both sexes. Mining animals get collectively, clearly assigning roles. The lionesses play a crucial role in the hunt, as they are faster and more mobile.
The male can only scare the prey, which is already waiting in ambush, with a threatening roar. White lions are able to sleep up to 20 hours a day, basking in the shade of shrubs and spreading trees.
The pride territory is the site where white lions hunt. If one of the animals of foreign lion families encroaches on this land, then a war may arise between prides.
Eating a white lion
The daily feeding of an adult male is the meat most often of an ungulate (buffalo or giraffe) from 18 to 30 kg. Lions are very patient animals that can eat once every two or three days, and can do without food for several weeks.
Eating a white lion is a kind of ritual. The male leader of the pride eats first, then everyone else, the young growth eats last. The very first they eat the heart of the prey, then the liver and kidneys, and only then the meat and the skin. Food is started only after the main male is full.
Reproduction and life expectancy of a white lion
White lions can breed throughout the year. Fetal bearing occurs within just 3.5 months. Before the birth of offspring, the lioness leaves the pride; she is able to reproduce from one to four cubs into the world. After some time, the female with the cubs returns to the pride.
The birth of offspring occurs almost simultaneously in all females, this contributes to the collective protection of the cubs and significantly reduces the mortality of the young. After the young offspring grows, young females remain in the pride, and the males, having reached the age of two to four years, leave the pride.
In the wild, lions are able to live from 13 to 16 years, but males rarely live to even 11 years, as they are not all able to live alone or make a family if they are expelled from the pride.
In captivity white lions can live from 19 to 30 years. In Russia, white lions live in the Krasnoyarsk park of flora and fauna “Roev Ruchei” and in the “Safari Park” of Krasnodar. White lions are listed in the International Red Book as an endangered and rare species that is almost not found in nature. It only depends on the person whether the white lion will be a reality or will become a legend again.