Have you ever seen a white lion? Well, unless you’ve been to a zoo that has one, seeing a white lion is a rare occasion. Not many zoos around the world house a white lion.
White lions are one of the rare and exotic animals you will see in the National Geographic documentary. The white lion is a rare color mutation, same as the tawny African lion found in wildlife reserves in South Africa.
Do not mistake white lions for a separate subspecies. They are not a separate subspecies. White lions were first recorded in 1938 in the Timbavati region of South Africa.
However, they came to the public’s attention in the 1970s. Chris McBride popularized the white lion in his book “The White Lions of Timbavati”. Up until 2009, it was widely believed that the white lion could not survive in the wild. For that reason, large population of white lions reside in zoos. However, in 2009, the first pride of white lions was reintroduced to the wild, and they managed to survive.
Based on available evidence, there are less than 300 white lions living worldwide. That includes white lions held in captivity in zoos.