SUBIC BAY FREEPORT – Another white lion was born at the Zoobic Safari animal theme park recently, the third time that such birth was recorded in this free port.
Zoobic Safari owner Robert Yupangco said the white lion was born last April 3 and is now one-and-a-
half months old.
The lion cub was named Christian Amando as a tribute to former Zoobic Safari staff Christian Hon, who died before its birth, and Australian ambassador to the Philippines Amanda Gorely, who visited the theme park recently.
Currently, Christian Amando consumes some 72 ounces of kitten milk replacer (KMR) every day to complete the prescribed food for nursing kittens.
Yupangco said that lion cubs need supplemental feeding after being breastfed by their mothers for the first three days. They also need colostrum for strengthening of their immune system.
“If ever, Christian Amando will be the first white lion bottle-feed survivor,” said Noe Pasilan, the park’s zoology supervisor, who helped deliver the cub at Zoobic Safari.
Amando’s parents, Tisay and JB, both came from a white lion family imported from the Middle East.
The white lion is a rare color mutation of the lion. They were thought to have been indigenous to the Timbavati region of South Africa for centuries, although the earliest recorded sighting in this region was in 1938.
White lions in the area of Timbavati are of the same subspecies as the tawny Southeast African lion (Panthera leo krugeri) found in some wildlife reserves in South Africa, and in zoological parks around the world.
Until 2009, when the first pride of white lions was reintroduced into the wild, it was widely believed that the white lion could not survive in the natural environment. It is for this reason that a large part of the population of white lions now reside in zoos. MHIKE CIGARAL