Pages Menu
Categories Menu

Posted on Sep 17, 2012 in Browse by Name | 0 comments

Toronto Zoo

Toronto Zoo Displaying Inbred White Lions

A pair of young, cuddly looking white lions made their debut at the Toronto Zoo on Friday.

A male and a female cub were on display while a third lion, a female, is expected to become part of the exhibition later in the year.

The lions are native to the Timbavati region of South Africa, and came to Toronto thanks to a breeding program there. They are extremely rare and their white colour is a result of a genetic rarity endemic to the region.

“People just love to see them,” said the zoo’s conservation director Dr. Bill Rapley. “With their white colour, they’re like the spirit bear.”

The two lions on display Friday are nine and 10 months old and it’s hoped the zoo will be able to breed them when they reach maturity.

“The cubs will be spectacular,” said Rapley. “People will love them.”

The lions are not yet named and the zoo is considering holding a public naming contest.



Photograph by: Tyler Anderson, Postmedia News , Vancouver Sun

The rare white lion cubs that made their debut at the Toronto Zoo on Friday are still unnamed, but most definitely popular.

A 10-month-old male and nine-month-old female were welcomed to their new home by a horde of admirers, including schoolchildren and members of the media.

members of the media. A third cub, another female, is recovering from minor surgery to correct an alignment problem with her front legs, and will make her debut in the coming weeks.

Part of a new permanent display, the white lions possess a rare gene that inhibits colour. They are native to the Timbavati region in South Africa, north of Swaziland.

The last time the Toronto Zoo brought in a white lioness was almost 15 years ago. The lioness, Nokanda, had to be put down last August when she developed cancerous tumours.

Read more:



Note:  White lions are the product of inbreeding and the American Zoological Association advises member zoos to NOT breed white lions, white tigers or king cheetah because the only way to do so is through severe inbreeding.

Read More

Posted on Sep 17, 2012 in Browse by Name | 0 comments

Wildlife Heritage Foundation Inbreeding White Lions

Wildlife Heritage Foundation Inbreeding White Lions

A LION cub that almost died of starvation turns three — and will soon be joined by some female big cats so he can become a father.

Themba the African White Lion is hardly recognisable from the cute little furball that needed to be cradled in people’s arms to keep him alive.

Now the proud beast — who weighs 27st and stands nearly 8ft tall on his hind legs — dwarfs his carers.

He is big enough to want a mate, and later this month two female white lions will be flown to the UK from South Africa in a bid to allow him to father a pride.

Big cat expert Brian Badger, 48, saved Themba in April 2009 when the cub’s mother developed mastitis and could no longer feed him.

He was so close to death that staff took turns to cuddle him so their body heat could keep him warm.

Brian, the General Manager at the Wildlife Heritage Foundation big cat sanctuary in Kent, said: “I’m like a surrogate father to him and he always recognises me.

“He is still playful but he doesn’t like to show it. At night I can hear him crashing around and tossing logs.


Themba the lion and Brian Badger

Grown up … Themba now


“He is still a cub at heart, but as soon as anybody appears he is straight up there on his platform giving it the big ‘I am’.

“He’s a bit like a teenager playing with his toy cars, but as soon somebody comes in he is grumpy and moody!”

When Brian and his staff temporarily took Themba from his mother he weighed less than a kilo.

Brian said: “His mother had two cubs and they were moving less and less. His mother accidently kicked Themba and he just went rolling and looked completely lifeless.

“So we went in and found the cubs were very dehydrated, very thin and incredibly cold.

“Themba was the worse out of the two but slowly the life came back into him.”

Thankfully, both Themba and his sister Izula are now fine.

When Themba’s prospective mates arrive he’ll be given a new purpose-built territory funded by the Wildlife Heritage Foundation’s sanctuary near Ashford.

Brian explains: “His mane is almost fully developed so this is the time when he would be wandering the planes of southern Africa looking for females, so we have gone out and done the matchmaking for him.

“We will move him into a new enclosure when they arrive. It will be a kind of rights-of-succession for him: a Lion King moment.”

The Wildlife Heritage Foundation is a UK-based charity, which works to ensure that the big cat species of the world are protected from extinction. For more info or to make a donation go to

Read more:

Read More

Posted on Jul 20, 2012 in News Feed | 1 comment

White lion cubs result from inbreeding at Ukraine Zoo

White lion cubs result from inbreeding at Ukraine Zoo

Zookeepers in the Ukraine have been surprised by the births of five white lion cubs to two mothers in different parts of the country. 

Two were born in a zoo in the coastal city of Yalta and three more were born in a wildlife park two weeks ago, all to tawny-coloured parents.

“We expected that the cubs would be beige or straw-coloured, the natural colour of lions, but we were really, really pleasantly surprised,” veterinarian Alexander Dyakov told the International Business Times.

The five will be raised together in Yalta Zoo. (All photos AAP)
The five will be raised together in Yalta Zoo.
Read More

Posted on Apr 8, 2012 in Browse by Name | 0 comments

Winnipeg Assiniboine Park

Winnipeg Assiniboine Park

Winnipeg’s Assiniboine Park appears to breed white lions and use animals for breeding that come from back yard breeders.


Warned in 1983 AZA Finally Calls for an End to the

Practice of Breeding White Tigers and White Lions


Deformed white tigers are the norm in captive collectionsDeformed white tigers are the norm in captive collections

In June 2011 the board of directors for the American Zoological Association (AZA) formalized their 2008 ban on the breeding of white tigers, white lions or king cheetahs by their member zoos. Their report said, “Breeding practices that increase the physical expression of single rare alleles (i.e., rare genetic traits) through intentional inbreeding, for example intentional breeding to achieve rare color-morphs such as white tigers, deer, and alligators, has been clearly linked with various abnormal, debilitating, and, at times, lethal, external and internal conditions and characteristics, which are outlined in this paper.” This change in policy came more than 12 years after Big Cat Rescue first released Dr. Laughlin’s expose here: 


Because of the inbreeding and resulting genetic defects the American Zoological Association barred member zoos from breeding white tigers, white lions and king cheetahs in a white paper adopted by the board of directors in July 2011.

It is noteworthy that the first person to speak out against the displaying of white tigers was William Conway, director of the NY Zoological Association, which later became known as the Bronx zoo when he said, “White tigers are freaks. It’s not the role of a zoo to show two headed calves and white tigers.” He warned AZA in 1983 of the harm to the zoo’s credibility in catering to the public’s fascination with freaks, but went unheeded until 2008 when AZA issued a request to their members to stop breeding white tigers and then later in July 2011 when the AZA formally adopted that stance as policy. Conway was attacked by Ed Maruska of the Cincinnati Zoo and other zoos that were profiting by inbreeding tigers to get white coats, but in the end Conway’s belief was validated. Read the AZA Policy Against Breeding White Tigers, White Lions and King Cheetahs


Read More