White Lion

Panthera leo

White lions are a rare color mutation of the African lion. They are not albino; they are leucistic, which is lack of dark pigmentation. They get their coloring from a recessive gene known as a color inhibitor. To produce a white lion, both parents must possess the recessive gene.  

More Info

White lions only occur naturally in the Timbavati region in South Africa where they were last seen in 1994. Recently, however, white lions raised in zoos have been released back into Timbavati, where several small prides are successfully surviving.

Fact File

Species @ Risk Image
Species Survival Plan Image
where to see themWhere to see them: Siegfried & Roy's White Lion exhibit
lengthLength: Male - 8.5 to 10 ft, Female - 5 to 6 ft
heightHeight: Male - Up to 4 ft, Female - Up to 3.6 ft
weightWeight: Male - 330 to 530 lbs, Female - 270 to 400 lbs
life expectancyLife Expectancy: 18 yrs
ecological roleEcological Role: Predator
habitatHabitat: Savannah, woodland and desert
dietDiet: Hoofed mammals, hares, small birds and reptiles
exclamationRisk Status: Species @ Risk (IUCN-Vulnerable)