White Lions at the Toronto Zoo

On August 22, 2012, in Nature-Wildlife, by admin

“Fintan” — the new white lion at the Toronto Zoo. Image by: Norm Johnstone © 2012

It was another great day at the Toronto Zoo on Wednesday, August 15, 2012. I had a great time walking around with my Dad, (Norm Johnstone Sr.)–his photo galleries can be viewed at: http://www.pbase.com/normj and taking numerous photos. We really enjoyed seeing the new white lions that the zoo owns now, and they “posed” for numerous shots. Two of the white lions are females and are named Makali, which means “daring,” in Swahili and Lemon—named for her yellow colouring. The one new male is named Fintan, which is an abbreviated Irish name that means, “little fair one.”

These lions are not albinos (which many people think), however they are unique to the Timbavati region of South Africa. These lions carry the gene known as a colour inhibitor and are from the Kruger subspecies of lion (Panterha leo krugeri). These lions are now classified as a vulnerable species.

The white lions are almost one year old now and I noticed that the male is starting to develop a beard and also a mane. It will be great as I go to the Toronto Zoo over the next few months to see these white lions develop and grow towards full sized adult lions.

If you get a chance to go to the Toronto Zoo, make sure to check out the new white lions that are currently out on display and be sure to see the zoo keeper’s daily talk at 1:30 p.m. Sometimes when the daily talk occurs, the lion keeper will throw them a “snack”—however the last time I was there he explained to me that the male has started to be more aggressive and so he didn’t give them a snack on that particular day.

For more information on the Toronto Zoo – visit: http://www.torontozoo.com/