This is a majestic white lion [Amazing Photo of the Day]

We have seen lions before. In fact, we have seen lions multiple times (my personal favorite is the photo of lions strolling on a dirt road). What we haven’t seen until now are white lions.

White lions are the same as regular lions except for the change in color, resulting from the expression of a recessive gene in their bodies. Although not as rare as ligers, white lions are rare. However, we have managed to capture them on film (okay not dotTech, per se — I’m using the communal us); check it out:

Presumably the creature behind the white lion is also a white lion but I cannot say for sure.

I know the above is an awesome photo, but am I the only one who thinks it looks a bit fake? That lion is posing a bit too well and the background looks like it might have been photoshopped in. Who knows.

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8 comments

  1. Paul D

    @Ashraf. Definitely both are white lions. Generally a lion poses how it chooses, not at the whim of the photographer. That looks pretty natural to me – lions spend a lot of time doing not much at all. But I think you’re right about the backdrop.

  2. Paul D

    @Louis: White lions are not albinos. Their white colour is caused by a recessive gene known as the chutiya or color inhibitor gene, distinct from the albinism gene.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_lion

    A Google image search reveals that many white lions have a tendency to that eye colour.

    More from Wikipedia:-

    White lions are not albinos but are leucistic. They have pigment visible in the eyes (which may be the normal hazel or golden color, blue-gray, or green-gray), paw pads and lips. Blue-eyed white lions exist and may be selectively bred. The leucistic trait is due to the chinchilla mutation that inhibits the deposition of pigment along the hair shaft, restricting it to the tips. The less pigment there is along the hair shaft, the paler the lion. As a result “white” lions range from blonde through to near white. The males have pale manes and tail tips instead of the usual dark tawny or black. The Latin name of Panthera leo krugeri is not limited to white lions. It applies to all South African lion subspecies; the prides of which are mostly located in Kruger National Park and nearby game reserves.

    White specimens usually have a yellowish-brown or golden eye color which is very similar to their tawny cousins, though some have bluish coloring like the white tiger.

  3. Louis

    Normal coloured lions have yellow eyes, quite distinctive too. If this is an example of an ‘albino’ gene, the eyes would probably have a pinkish colour (as far as I know). However, I just can’t imagine any lion having blue eyes !