Tags: white | lion | triplets | born | polish | zoo

White Lion Triplets Born at Polish Zoo Are Internet Darlings

By Alexandra Ward   |   Thursday, 06 Feb 2014 07:11 AM

A set of rare white lion triplets born in Poland last week are the Internet's newest darlings after photos of the cubs were posted online this week, but the birth was not without controversy.

Born at owner Andrzej Pabich's private zoo in Boryszew, Poland on Jan. 28, the white lion triplets are said to be doing well as they rest with their mother, Azira.

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"Luckily the birth went all smoothly," Pabich told The Associated Press. "We had doubts whether it would be all OK: will [their mother] reject them, will she have milk? But all went luckily well in the end. The mother accepted [the cubs], is feeding them and is very caring."

Pabich estimates that there are only about 90 white lions in the world, so to have triplet cubs is extremely rare.

He said the zoo plans to name the triplets once they grow more and can be weighed. After that, their gender can be determined. They should be able to run outside in April, Pabich told the AP.

The birth of the white lion triplets was not without controversy though. BigCatRescue.org blasted the zoo this week, claiming that white lions are always the result of inbreeding.

"Breeding practices that increase the physical expression of single rare alleles (i.e., rare genetic traits) through intentional inbreeding, for example intentional breeding to achieve rare color-morphs such as white tigers . . . has been clearly linked with various abnormal, debilitating, and, at times, lethal, external and internal conditions and characteristics," the site said, quoting a 2011 report by the American Zoological Association.

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