Two White Lions Born in Cyprus Zoo

Two adorable white lions have been born in the Paphos Zoo in Cyrpus, an island country in the Eastern Mediterranean.

The newborn cubs (one boy and one girl) were born to Zeus and Hera, two eight year old white lions that were brought to Cyprus from a zoo in South Africa.

White lion cubs are quite rare, but this is not the first time we’ve seen them.

For example, the three white lion cubs in the video below were born in a French zoo in 2016.

White lions areĀ notĀ albinos. They are just genetically rare.

The genetic mutation affecting the lions’ color does not impact their performance, research shows. The mutation that does separate them though was just discovered in 2013. The mutation does not seem to reduce their rates of survival due to complications from being able to camouflage.

White lions are known as a “capstone animal” for conserving biodiversity in South African communities. Scientists have been doing comparative studies between white lions and normal, tawny lions to see if there is a difference between the two in survival rates.

By Stano Novak – Own work, CC BY 2.5

White lions were discovered for the first time in the Greater Timbavati in 1938, but African myth contains ancient whispers of the rare and unique animals for several centuries. Unfortunately, just as their rarity and unique qualities make them attractive to animal lovers worldwide, they are also highly desired by poachers. These rare, white lions have been subject to hunting to the point where the continued existence of their species relies on new births like the one in the French zoo.

WATCH NEXT: White Lion Surrounded by Hyenas