White Leo (lat. Panthera Leo Krugeri, Transvaal Lion, or African Southeast) Its appearance belongs to the Koshachi family, the genus Panther. This is a subspecies of Lviv, who can be found in southern Africa, and named after the region of habitat – Transvaal.
To date, no more than two thousand individuals of this dying form have been preserved, and it is carefully protected by the planet in many reserves, providing them with the conditions for propagation.
The White Leo is not a separate subspecies of animals: such an interesting manifestation has a specific polymorphism combined with the genetic manifestation of leucism, which provides such a peculiar light shade of the wool of these animals (due to the recessive genome). And it is precisely the transvalian lion that is most often found in these manifestations.
Such features can be called the opposite of the known effect of melanism, thanks to which black panthers appeared. But you need to understand that white lions are not albinos, and these animals have standard pigmentation of the eyes and epidermis.
But more often these deviations are observed only in captivity, and the breeders specially breed such animals due to cream color of wool.
Real confirmation of the existence of this type of lions began to appear not so long ago, just a few decades ago. For many hundreds of years, these lions have simply been considered a South African legend. And the first observations about them were published at the beginning of the last century, and from that moment meeting with this view were not so frequent.
The southeastern African lion, like all lions, is distinguished by pronounced sexual dimorphism: males and females have incredible differences, and lions have a well-developed mane (and most individuals have dark ones). Males of this subspecies can reach a length up to 3.5 meters along with the tail, and have weighing up to 250 kg. Females are not characterized by a luxurious mane, smaller than males (body length – about 2.4 cm, and weight about 150 kg).
It is this subspecies that is distinguished by leucisma: the type of mutation, leading to the appearance of light wool due to the lack of melanocytic cells. Surprisingly, the rainbow shell of the eyes of these animals is ordinary, golden or brown-green.
Almost a hundred years ago, a lion was destroyed in South Africa, who was the heaviest of cats killed by man, and the weight of this copy was approximately 313 kg.
Lifestyle and behavior
Lions are the only feline representatives who form social groups of prides, which include about 15 individuals.
A significant part of the time (about about 20 hours), lions are in a state of rest. Although they can hunt, regardless of the time of day, they prefer to show activity after sunset or in the morning, when the heat falls. The pride hunts mostly lionesses (lions are too heavy for this), and they begin to do this with the onset of darkness, taking breaks at night. For the whole day, the lion can spend about a few hours on walking, and a little less than an hour for me to eat.
Where they live
White Transvalian lions live in South Africa, which is located a little south of Mozambique and Namibia. Most of the population is located in the Kruger National Park and the Timbavati reserve (South Africa) combined with this area. It is this territory that has the historical name Transvaal, and it gave the name of the subspecies. There are about two thousand animals in this park.
The habitat of these lions are savannahs and steppe areas, including the territory of the Kalahari desert.
What they eat
Lions are predators, and their diet, first of all, includes herbivorous mammals (zebras, antelopes, buffalo), and other animals (ostriches, babuins), which are required a day of an adult lion. These cats can also hunt for larger prey, rhinos and even giraffes, when there is little food.
Lviv can be called patient, and these animals are even able to eat once every few days, and in general without food can calmly exist for up to several weeks.
Interestingly, eating in lions is a certain ritual. Alfa-male receives its first portion (even if he did not hunt), and only then all the members of the pride, and only then young animals. The first heart of prey, liver and kidneys are usually eaten, because they are considered the most valuable, and only then the meat and skin are divided. The members of the pack begin to eat food only when the alpha male quenched hunger.
Transvaal white lions are the only ones that have a similar color mutation, but it is quite rare. White lions, as a rule, are divorced in nurseries as souvenirs for zoos, but sometimes they can be found in the wild (mainly we are talking about the Kruger National Park and the adjacent part of South Africa). There are several thousand of them in this park, and this part of the population is perfectly protected from any hunt. About a thousand of these lions can be found in the southern regions of Africa.
In general, we can say that this subspecies of the lion today is distinguished by a stable number and is provided from the threat of disappearance, despite the catastrophically small number of these animals for such an endless territory.
White lions, like any other representatives of this species, are capable of propagation yearround. The female bores several babies about 3.5 months, and, as a rule, leaves Pride before their birth (of course, then it returns).
It is interesting that usually all the female pride give birth at the same time, which significantly contributes to the collective protection of offspring, and reduces the mortality of the kids. Males who reach sexually mature (up to four years), usually then leave the pride.
These lions live up to 15 years in wildlife, but the life expectancy of the male is much less (about 10 years), since the expulsion from the pride and life alone do not contribute to survival. And if we talk about contents in captivity, then representatives of this species are able to calmly reach the age of thirty.