Peru zoo unveils Mexico-born white lion cubs, species rare and in danger of extinction

VIDEO: REUTERS
The two endangered white lion cubs - which weigh around 50kg and eat 5kg of beef and chicken a day - in the Huachipa Zoo of central Lima, after their quarantine period.
The two endangered white lion cubs - which weigh around 50kg and eat 5kg of beef and chicken a day - in the Huachipa Zoo of central Lima, after their quarantine period. PHOTO: REUTERS

LIMA (AFP) - Two endangered white lion cubs born in captivity in Mexico were unveiled at a zoo in the Peruvian capital Lima on Thursday (July 26).

The little big cats - one female aged four months and a five-month-old male - are on display at the city's Huachipa Zoo, in central Lima, having completed a quarantine period.

"They're in a good state. They arrived in Lima as an exchange for scientific and conservation purposes," said zoo spokesman Pilar Martinez.

The cubs - already said to be showing off their wild nature, despite their young age - weigh around 50kg and eat 5kg of beef and chicken a day, according to caretaker Amadeo Hermosa.

The zoo received the lions in exchange for some Humboldt penguins, Ms Martinez said, without saying how many.

Vet Celia Diaz explained that the lions are not albino, but their unique colouring is due to a gene variant also found in white tigers.

"This species is very rare and is in danger of extinction," she said.