The White Lions
White Lions are not albinos, but a genetic rarity unique to one endemic region on the globe: the Timbavati region. The Genetic Marker that makes White Lions unique has not yet been identified by science. The White Lions are currently classified under the general species classification Panthera leo, although this is likely to change after the genetic research undertaken by the Global White Lion Protection Trust reveals important reasons for sub-speciation of this rare phenotype. The earliest recorded sighting of white lions in the Timbavati region was in 1938. However, the oral records of African elders indicate that these unique animals survived in this region for many centuries. The unique white lion gene is carried by certain of the tawny coloured lions in the region, and white cubs occurred in numerous prides in the region. Since their discovery by the West, white lions and those lions carrying the unique gene have been hunted, and forcibly removed from their natural endemic habitat. In 2004, after 12 years of technical extinction of the White Lions in their ancestral homelands, the WLT commenced its reintroduction program. Today, the organization has successfully reintroduced 3 prides of integrated White Lions to free-roaming conditions in their natural endemic habitat. The idea that white lions are genetically inferior to ordinary tawny lions has not been scientifically tested.