They have a condition called, leucism, which causes the loss of pigmentation in the skin and fur. They are endemic only in the Greater Timbavati, region of South Africa. White lions and gene-carrying lions have been hunted and forcibly removed from the wild into captivity.
The lion is the second-largest among the big cats, with the first being the Amur tiger. The lion is unusual among the cat species in that they live in organised groups called ‘prides’. They are the only truly social cat, with related females residing together in pride and related or unrelated males forming coalitions that compete for the tenure of pride in fierce and often fatal battles.
Moto at Paradise Wildlife Park in March 2011 from West Mids Safari to join Kya and her daughter Izulu. Kya and Moto went on to have Zuri together in 2013. Moto has been an amazing dad, although a bit of a pushover! Zuri has always got away with most things with her dad. Moto is currently our largest cat at the zoo and weighs around 220kg. He has playful moods sometimes, enjoying large boomer balls, squashing cardboard boxes, and LOVES peppermint oil placed around his enclosure, which he licks and rubs himself on. Moto loves the sound of his own voice and everyone enjoys hearing him do his regular territory call throughout the day, which the females sometimes join in with. He is generally very easygoing with the girls unless food is involved, which is generally the only time he will establish dominance over them. Other than that, he watches over the girls playing together and will only intervene if they are getting out of hand.
Kya is the queen of our lion pride and has always been an amazing mum to Zuri and Izulu, and a wonderful partner to Moto. She always keeps a watchful eye on the pride, ensuring that Zuri doesn’t cause too much trouble and stepping in when needed. Despite her age, she still has a playful streak and enjoys playing with her daughters.
Kya and Moto have a lovely bond, and keepers often see the two of them settled near each other away from the girls, or head rubbing when passing each other.
Izulu is known as the supermodel of the pride, with long legs, a tall slender frame, and the lightest white fur. She is generally the most reserved of the pride as she has no biological connection or partnership with Moto, so often keeps out of the way. However, she definitely has a strong and very sassy side that is shown whenever Moto oversteps the mark or if she spots the vet near her habitat.
Although Zuri, her half-sister, is a very dominant personality and spends lots of time with Kya, Izulu also has a strong bond with Kya, and they are both very chilled cats who love resting together and grooming.
Zuri was born in 2013 and has always got away with most things with her dad, Moto. Zuri is the most inquisitive of the pride and loves enrichment! Her favourite toy is a boomer ball and loves to play football with it!
Zuri is a very dominant personality and spends lots of time with Kya. She loves to wind her dad up in particular but Daddy’s girl gets away with everything!