Loveable little lions make public appearance at zoo

Three rare white lion cubs were born at Darling Downs Zoo last month, the second litter since the lions were first imported to the Pilton zoo in 2010.
Three rare white lion cubs were born at Darling Downs Zoo last month, the second litter since the lions were first imported to the Pilton zoo in 2010. Contributed

THREE rare white lion cubs have made their first appearance at the Darling Downs Zoo.

The Pilton zoo has been home to the triplets for the past three weeks and visitors are now able to book a personal encounter with them.

This is the second litter for parents Shaka and Shenzi who were imported from South Africa in 2010 in an effort to preserve the wild animal.

Darling Downs Zoo director Steve Robinson said the cubs were healthy and happy.

"The cubs and mum are all doing wonderfully and we are so excited to have them at our zoo," Mr Robinson said.

"I am just in awe of them, they honestly are beautiful.

"We decided to wait a while before we announced the arrival of the baby cubs to ensure everything was going well because Shenzi's last pregnancy was hard on her and her cub."

Shaka and Shenzi's first cub Kwanza had to be handfed after Shenzi's milk supply ran out when he was 10-days-old.

This time the cubs are happily feeding from their mum and have gained 2kg since they were born, weighing in at a healthy 4kg.

The cubs will be available for a personal encounter at 11am every day.

The encounter will be held in an off-exhibit area of the zoo where visitors will be able to hold the cubs and take photos.

Mr Robinson said people who had been lucky enough to interact with the cubs had been overwhelmed.

"We had our first two sessions over the weekend and they booked out straight away," Mr Robinson said.

"People are becoming quite overwhelmed because they are in the presence of such a rare and special animal. Getting a photo snuggling up to a white lion cub is something that you can't get anywhere else in Australia."

To book an encounter phone 4696 4107 or email admin@darlingdowns with your preferred date and second preference. Bookings are $150 and all funds will be used to support the zoo's conservation ambitions.

Topics:  animals darling downs zoo editors picks lions

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