3 White lion cubs born at Metro Richmond Zoo

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- The Metro Richmond Zoo has announced the birth of three White lion cubs.

The one male cub and two female cubs were born April 2 to parents Xonga and Basa.

"Xonga has shown excellent maternal care for her cubs," zoo director Jim Andelin said. "Both mom and babies are in great health. The cubs have been nursing, and they are growing rapidly."

Xonga and the cubs are not on exhibit while they bond.

"White lions are a rare color mutation of the African lion that occurs naturally in the Timbavati region in South Africa," Andelin said. "They are not albino; they are leucistic, which is a lack of dark pigmentation. They get their coloring from a recessive gene known as a color inhibitor."