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Timbavati White Lion

Timbavati White Lion
Photo Information
Copyright: Japie Venter (japie) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1814 W: 100 N: 1904] (5187)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2004-07-17
Categories: Mammals
Camera: Canon EOS 300D, Tamron 28-300XR, Skylight
Exposure: f/5.0, 1/60 seconds
Details: (Fill) Flash: Yes
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Great cats - Grandes felinos, Mammals of Southern Africa, Felidae of the world: Second series [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2004-09-21 16:02
Viewed: 8126
Points: 26
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
I would like to dedicate the next two posts to the rare White lion and spread the note over these two posts.

Again the red soil of this area have an impact on the color of the animals, but to a lesser extent on the white lions as they are kept in more specialized inclosures designed for breeding.

The Latin name of Panthera leo krugeri is not limited to white lions. It applies to all South African lion subspecies.

White lions are not albino as they have pigmentation which shows particularly in eye, paw pad and lip color. The correct term for their condition is leucism, a state where there is near-normal eye color, but loss of pigment in the skin and fur.

The cause of the unusual coloration is the same as for the white tiger. A recessive gene which results in the white appearance is found in a very small number of captive lions.

White specimens usually have a yellowish-brown or golden eye color which is very similar to their tawny cousins.

Unlike normal lion cubs which spotted at birth, the pelage of white cubs is almost pure white. Over the months the coat gradually darkens to become a cream or ivory colour. At last count, 32 white lions were recorded worldwide.

The white lion today:

A number of lions within Timbavati Game Reserve have been killed by poachers, and the African lion as a whole has been decimated due to the loss of their natural habitat. However, several lions still survive from the original strain, all in captivity:

One heterozygous male in Pretoria. (A heterozygous lion is tawny, but carries the gene for white coloring and when partnered correctly may pass this onto offspring. The original example of this was Vela).

Two heterozygous males. Originally at Cincinnati Zoo they are now at a private reserve in Africa.

One white female and a heterozygous male located at the Zoological Animal Reproduction Center in Indiana. This facility did hold a second female from the original strain, unfortunately she was killed by the other female while on loan to a zoo.

Conservation status:

Firstly, it should be understood that the white lion is not a separate subspecies from the African lion, so any discussion of conservation status must encompass the entire African lion population.

The lion is now considered to be of conservation concern, with the American Zoo and Aquarium Association managing a Species Survival Program for the African lion. This SSP was one of the more recent to be developed and a worrying outcome was the discovery in 1992 that only two captive lions can be traced back to wild founders in Africa. The heritage of all other African lions, (except for a few imported in recent times), remains unknown or uncertain, meaning they cannot be listed in the species studbook. Only animals with ancestors which can be traced back to the wild are accepted into the breeding programme. This is to significantly reduce any chance of genetic pollution.

RAP, Signal-Womb, extramundi, marhowie, Oldtree, deud, ellis49, gerhardt, PDP, Lourens has marked this note useful
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To deud: Sorrowjapie 1 09-22 07:23
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Critiques [Translate]

The image looks very soft and clean but with great detail. It is a great potrait, tha lion seems very confortable. Good photo.

Great portrait photo japie and excellent footnote to. Image is soft yes but works well here as does most portraits.

Japie, Photographic comments aside, what I see is a certain human quality in this lions portrait. There's something in the crease of the forehead & in the eyes that gives me this impression. Or is it I've been looking at too many of these photos on TN & I'm seeing things? Maybe I'm just "asleep at the wheel"!!! ;-))

photo tres touchante du a l'expression du lion....qui parait triste :)
tres belle photo, et tres bonne note aussi !

Hi Japie,

this lion looks very friendly and even seems to smile a bit at something. But I think this will dramatically change if I would try to take away some meat from him. Wonderful detail you managed here in color and sharpness. Thanks for posting it.

  • Great 
  • deud Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 438 W: 11 N: 534] (2540)
  • [2004-09-22 4:36]
  • [+]

I like the eyes of this one. It's full of sorrow .

Very good portrait Japie
Little soft but good details , good colors , good compo.
and a great note.
Very well done.

Lions are one of my favourite animals. This is a lovely portrait. Well done.

  • Great 
  • RAP Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2524 W: 345 N: 2373] (7405)
  • [2004-09-22 7:13]

Gran retrato Japie... realmente.
Perfecto encuadre, colorido y foco suaves(en este caso, embellecen más la imagen).
Atinado DOF y muy completa nota.
(puntos mañana)

Great picture Japie... really.
Perfect frame, soft colorful and focus (en this case, embellish more the image). Accurate DOF and very complete note (points tomorrow)

Very nice portrait Japie. Good DOF and portrait. Very detailed note. There is a definite sorrowfull look in the eye. Great work.

Hi, It is a "Mona Lisa" lion :) it is sad, but not really, looks like she is keeping a secret from you..

Very nice !!!


  • Great 
  • PDP Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor [C: 2821 W: 344 N: 3779] (11769)
  • [2004-09-22 13:57]

Beautiful image, Japie. I didn't know about white Lions. The note is very well done. I look forward to the others in this series. Thanks for posting.

Nice shot, Japie. Looks like the lion was well aware of the fact that his portrait was being taken - Check that pose!!!!

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