White Lion

The White Lion is not albino as they do have pigmentation.

They have a condition called, leucism, which causes the loss of pigmentation in the skin and fur. They are endemic only in the Greater Timbavati, region of South Africa. White lions and gene-carrying lions have been hunted and forcibly removed from the wild into captivity.

  • Least Concern
  • Near Threatened
  • Vulnerable
  • Endangered
  • Critically Endangered
  • Extinct in the Wild
  • Extinct

Facts about Lions

The lion is the second-largest among the big cats, with the first being the Amur tiger. The lion is unusual among the cat species in that they live in organised groups called ‘prides’. They are the only truly social cat, with related females residing together in pride and related or unrelated males forming coalitions that compete for the tenure of pride in fierce and often fatal battles.

Meet Moto

Moto, our White Lion, joined Hertfordshire Zoo in March 2011, from West Midlands Safari Park to be a companion to Kya and her daughter Izulu. Kya and Moto went on to have Zuri together in 2013. Moto has been an amazing dad, although he’s a bit of a pushover when it comes to Zuri! Moto is currently our largest cat at the zoo and weighs in at around 220kg. He still has his playful moments, where he enjoys playing with large boomer balls and squashing cardboard boxes. His favourite pastime is to seek out any peppermint oil placed around his enclosure, which he then licks and rubs himself on. Moto also loves the sound of his own voice, and everyone enjoys hearing him do his regular territory call throughout the day and sometimes the females even join in! He is generally very easy-going with the girls unless food is involved, which is the only time he will use his dominant position to get fed first. For the most part, he simply watches over the girls playing together and will only intervene if they are getting too boisterous.

Meet Izulu

Izulu is known as the ‘supermodel’ of the pride, with her long legs, tall slender frame, and the lightest white fur. She is generally the most reserved of the pride as she has no biological connection or partnership with Moto. However, she definitely has a strong and very sassy side that comes out whenever Moto oversteps the mark or if she spots our vet near her habitat!

Meet Zuri

Zuri was born in 2013 and is a daddy’s girl. Zuri is the most inquisitive of the pride and loves enrichment. Her favourite toy is a boomer ball, and she loves to play football with it!

Zuri loves to push her dad’s buttons but she gets away with it every time!

Key Facts

Rodents to rhinos, medium- to large-sized ungulates, such as antelope, zebra and wildebeest
4 - 4.5 feet
Life Span:
12 years wild - 20 years captivity
Timbavati, South Africa
Males: Up to 12 feet | Females: 7 to 10 feet
Males: Up to 300 kilograms | Females: Up to 150 kilograms
Did you know?
Although the lion has often been called "the King of the Jungle", the lion's habitat does not actually include the jungle!




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