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New White Lion Cub!!!

She's called Zuri!

BEAUTIFUL WHITE LION CUB BORN IN PARADISE

Paradise Wildlife Park is very pleased to announce the birth of a beautiful and unusual white lion cub. Regarded as god like entities in African folklore, it is believed their majestic coats serve as a representation of the good found in all creatures. Any person lucky enough to gaze upon this rare gift will be blessed with health, happiness and luck. After the wettest summer on record in 2012, Paradise are hoping this luck might work on the weather!

The female cub was born to parents Kya and Moto on the 26th of January. It is a particularly nice reward for first time dad, Moto, as he was rejected by his own pride before coming to the park.

Director of the animal park, Lynn Whitnall said, “The cub has just turned four weeks old so we are still at an early stage in her development. But she is feeding well and gaining weight daily. We don't expect her to be confident enough to be out in her enclosure for everyone to see until around Easter time. So far, she is doing really well and the keepers are all very pleased with her progress. This is Kya's second time as a mum, and she is doing an absolutely brilliant job.”.

White lions occur very rarely in the wild and are born to tawny coloured parents, when both the mother and father carry the recessive gene that causes the white fur. Some experts estimate this to happen as little as once every 20 to 30 years. They are not albinos, but are in fact leucistic and have normal coloured eyes. Leucism is a reduction in the pigmentation of the skin. In captivity, white lions are ambassadors for their species, helping to raise important funds for conservation projects overseas.

The birth will hopefully be one of several at Paradise Wildlife Park this year. Head keeper, Yianna Cooling explains, “We've had a raft of new arrivals over the last few months across a variety of species, all of which are part of their respective European breeding programs. Recent additions include a snow leopard, red ruffed lemurs, red pandas and African penguins. All being well, we should be hearing the patter of lots of tiny feet over the course of this year!”

After a very busy naming competition running through the Easter holidays, Paradise Wildlife Park is pleased to announce that the chosen name for our new white lion cub is....Zuri!. The meaning of Zuri is "beautiful" in Swahili and is also of Basque origin, where its meaning is ‘White’. You can come and see Zuri at the lion house at the park, and she will soon be outside running around!

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