CHESTERFIELD, Va. – There are three new adorable faces now available to visit at the Metro Richmond Zoo. For the first time, three white cubs recently born at the zoo are on exhibit for the public.
One male cub and two female cubs were born April 2 to parents Xonga and Basa.
After spending two months inside their private den with their mother, the cubs were able to gain strength and learn to walk and play with each other.
The time was also used to allow Xonga to bond with her cubs.
The cubs, along with Xonga will be on exhibit in the mornings each day and will be rotated with their father, Basa, whom they have not yet met.
“The cubs have begun to eat meat, but continue to nurse from mom. Lion cubs are not fully weaned until the age of 6 months, zoo director Jim Andelin said. “At 3-4 years, White lions reach maturity. Males begin to develop fuzz around their neck at one year which will grow into their characteristic mane.”
White lions are a rare color mutation of the African lion that occurs naturally in the Timbavati region in South Africa, according to Andelin.