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Nature

Nature

The White Lions

Nature "The White Lions"
Airs Wednesday, May 22 at 7:00 PM

White lions are among the rarest and most treasured animals in the world. Rarer still is their survival in the wild. Their white color stands out in Africa's wild bush country, increasing their risk of being targeted and killed by rival predators and marauding adult male lions.

Used primarily for communication and camouflage, color is one of nature's most dependable defenses. White lions lose the ability to blend in to their surroundings, exposing them to other predators as well as jeopardizing their own ability to hunt. Overcoming their heightened visibility may be the greatest challenge young white cubs face. Often mistaken for albinos, white lions actually do have some pigmentation and dark eyes. They are leucistic animals, produced by the mating of two tawny lions that both carry a recessive gene for white coat color. Their ghostly white color is both a blessing and a curse, earning them a mythical status and a unique vulnerability.
 

Watch The White Lions - Preview on PBS. See more from Nature.


Visit the national Nature website for more information on this and other related programs.