Spotting a white lion in the wild is one of the most rare sightings for guests on safari in the Kruger. There are many spiritual connotations attached to a sighting of white lion because it is believed to be a reincarnation of spirirual masters. Whatever your belief, seeing a white lion roaming freely in the wild is an occasion never to be forgotten.
With this in mind, we have some exciting news from the rangers at Africa on Foot and nThambo Tree camp. This morning, while out on a game drive with guests, the rangers spotted a white lion cub playing with a sub-adult male ! We know for a fact that the Ross Pride has recently given birth to 3 tawny cubs so this comes as an additional surprise. Although the cub was seen in the heart of the Ross Pride territory we have yet to confirm if this bundle of joy is part of the Ross Pride. One of the two dominant males (the Good and the Bad) is rumoured to carry the white lion gene. Darryn Murray managed to take photos of the elusive lion cub seen this morning.
This is an incredible Christmas present for the Klaserie, which has had quite a tumultuous history with its resident lion prides. The mortality rate for lion cubs is high due to pride dynamics and the threat of predators. Lionesses often have to leave the cubs alone while joining their pride on hunts.
One of the Ross Pride females gave birth to two white lion cubs in 2012. Unfortunately, the first cub was killed and eaten by an old injured female right in front of guests on a morning safari. The reason for this is that the lioness was badly injured and her only means of survival was to prey on other lionesses’ cubs. A few months later the mother gave birth to another two cubs which meant a second white lion cub for the Ross Pride. One night they hunted a giraffe bull and during the hunt the mother was badly hurt and rendered unable to feed her young. The condition of both mother and cubs deteriorated rapidly. The mother was unable to return to the cubs to move them to the rest of the pride and thus the white lion died some time later. We are hoping that this new cub survives – we could do with another white lion in the Klaserie.
The Ross Pride are making themselves known. The past ten years we have seen the pride splinter off and the numbers dwindle, but these kings of the Klaserie are making up for their fragmented pride history and showing us what true survival is about.
If you’re wanting to see lions and white lion cubs – get yourself to the Klaserie !