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Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo Three cubs, one white, born 11-21-2014

Discussion in 'United States' started by FMtRIS, 26 Nov 2014.

  1. FMtRIS

    FMtRIS Member

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    OMAHA, Neb. —Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium has three new lion cubs, including a rare white lion.
    The cubs, two male and one female, were born Friday.
    The male white lion is rare, according to the zoo. The zoo's genetics department says the inheritance patterns of the white coat are not fully understood, and may be linked to a very rare recessive gene from each parent.
    All three cubs will be on display with their mother.
    The zoo says lion cubs typically weigh about three pounds at birth and open their eyes within a week or two. These cubs all just over four pounds.
    Rare white lion born at Omaha's Zoo | Local News - KETV Home
     
  2. Arizona Docent

    Arizona Docent Moderator Staff Member

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    Of course white lions are bred with some regularity in zoos in certain parts of the world, so that is not what makes this "rare." I assume (not knowing the circumstances) what is unusual here is that neither parent is white and as presumably SSP animals the zoo was not trying to breed whites. They probably did not know the parents carried the white gene and it just happened.

    This somewhat replicates how it occurs in nature and I think this is the best way to allow for white lion and white tiger births in captivity. The criticisms, which are largely well founded, are that intentional breeding for the morph requires inbreeding and results in unhealthy animals.
     
  3. FMtRIS

    FMtRIS Member

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    The father, Mr Big and mother, Ahadi, are both genetically Kruger lions of which the Timbavati region has become synonymous with white lions. Not sure how much genetics research has been done on why that region is naturally host to a higher population of white lions. It would be interesting. Both parents are are the tawny colouration so I guess the zoo just got lucky in the gene pool.
     
  4. wensleydale

    wensleydale Well-Known Member

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    A good way to counter any potential bad PR would be to have it fixed (you know what I mean by fixed). I am opposed to the intentional breeding of white lions and white tigers, such activity has no place in any conservation minded breeding program, but any white lion that does appear randomly is welcome as far as I am concerned.
     
  5. zooboy28

    zooboy28 Moderator Staff Member

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    That wouldn't be neccessary if it was just mated with an unrelated tawny lion, chances of white lion offspring remain low. That would be a preferable situation I imagine.
     
  6. wensleydale

    wensleydale Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, but of it comes to pass that there are a number of equally good options for males that could take its place in a breeding program it might be a good idea to neuter him just in case.