A rare white lion named Simba is the newest resident at Paphos zoo, following its birth in captivity three weeks ago.
The zoo in Peyia made the announcement on Friday, saying Simba is in great health and his keepers have him on the bottle eight times a day, day and night, using a special formula imported from abroad.
Simba’s colour is due to a recessive gene passed down from dad Zeus and mom Hera, both white lions at the zoo in Peyia for the last eight years. Both parents possess a recessive gene that affects colored pigments called melanin. But the cub is not considered an albino as it has blue eyes instead of yellowish-brown, putting Simba in the category of leucistic anuimals.
The vet at the zoo, Julius Christoforou, told reporters that it is very difficult for a white lion to be born in captivity, as they are also rare in the wild.
Three-week-old Simba will receive love and care from his human carers until he is eight months old. After that, he will go through an evaluation stage to determine whether he would be introduced to the other lions.