The owner of a private zoo in central Poland says he feels three times lucky with the birth of white lion triplets who are getting loving care from their mother.
Andrzej Pabich, head of the zoo in Borysew, said on Tuesday white lions often have defects that prevent giving birth, or mothers may reject the cubs. Triplets are rare.
The white lion is a rare colour mutation of the Kruger subspecies of African lion found in some wildlife reserves in South Africa and in zoos around the world.
Pabich says about 90 of them are now in existence.
He told The Associated Press that his two-and-a-half-year-old white lioness Azira has been patiently feeding and caring for the cubs, which were born on January 28.
Their father, three-and-a-half-year old Sahim, who is also white, is kept in a neighboring cage and roars at anyone who comes too close to his family.
“Luckily the birth went all smoothly,” Pabich said.
“We had doubts whether it would be all OK: won’t (she) reject them, will she have milk? But all went luckily well in the end. The mother accepted (the cubs), is feeding them and is very caring.”
The zoo will name the cubs after they grow a little more and can be weighed and identified as either male or female, Pabich said.