Rare white lion cubs enter Iran for preservation

December 14, 2019 - 20:42

TEHRAN – Iran is host to two white lion cubs recently sent from the African continent, said the official responsible for importing the rare species.

These three-month-old white lions have arrived in Iran to help breed rare animals and reduce the genetic diseases caused by inbreeding among lions, YJC quoted Pouria Navazani as saying on Thursday.

International legal and environmental steps have been taken to import these two white lions into Iran, including a license from Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and different environmental and veterinary licenses, he explained.

Noting that the lions are called Hir and Dena (the female one), he concluded that they are kept at the Alborz wildlife conservation and rehabilitation center.

The white lion is a rare color mutation of the lion, specifically the Southern African lion. White lions in the area of Timbavati were thought to have been indigenous to the Timbavati region of South Africa for centuries, although the earliest recorded sighting in this region was in 1938. Regarded as divine by locals, white lions first came to public attention in the 1970s, in Chris McBride's book The White Lions of Timbavati.

There were 11 white lions in their natural habitat, currently, while it is hard to estimate the exact population of white lions in the world, based on the available evidence, there are less than 300 individuals worldwide.


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