X

We Value Your Privacy

We and our partners use technology such as cookies on our site to personalise content and ads, provide social media features, and analyse our traffic. Click below to consent to the use of this technology across the web. You can change your mind and change your consent choices at anytime by returning to this site.

Update Consent
DISCOVER
×
Loading ...

The natural habitat of white lions

Updated November 21, 2016

The white lion is a rare species from the Timbavati region of South Africa. It is seen by African elders as "the most sacred animal on the African continent," according to the African Conservation Foundation. Captured and hunted, the majority of surviving white lions have been living in captivity. Successful efforts have been made to reintroduce them to their endemic habitat.

Loading ...

Habitat

When Europeans encountered white lions in the Timbavati region of South Africa in the 1970s, they immediately saw their value and began to hunt them and take them captive. Zoos and captive breeding operations exploited these unusual creatures for their own gain. Because of these captures, targeted lion culling and trophy hunting the white lion was virtually wiped out of their natural habitat. According to the Global White Lion Protection Trust website, this led to "a 12-year technical extinction in the wild."

Life in the Zoo

There are an estimated 500 white lions in the world living in captivity. Some scientists and zoos have claimed that white lions cannot survive in the wild because of their lack of a camouflage coat. However, this has been proved wrong. When reintroducing white lions to their endemic habitat, the Timbavati region, researchers observed the lions hunting on their own within eight weeks of their reintroduction.

Threats to their Habitat

The Timbavati Private Nature Reserve continues to allow trophy hunting of lions on its grounds and does not offer protection for any of the lion species. In order to protect the lions and return them to their endemic habitat, the Global White Lion Protection Trust has established a conservancy in the Timbavati region so the lions can live protected.

Returning to Endemic Habitat

The White Lion Reintroduction Project was started by the Global White Lion Protect Trust in an effort to reintroduce white lions to their endemic habitat. In 2006 four white lions were released into the natural habitat, and scientists have been monitoring their progress. More white lions have been introduced to strengthen the existing pride and cubs have been born and continue to survive.

Protecting the White Lion

There are no laws protecting the white lion despite the mass movement to capture, hunt and exploit this rare species. They are gravely in need of protection, especially during this time of rebuilding their population in their endemic habitat.

Loading ...

About the Author

Katie Vyn
Loading ...
Loading ...