SOURCE: Griffith Area News
THERE are only 300 white lions left in the world - and the population has grown over night, after the Riverina's Altina Wildlife Park welcomed four tiny lion cubs into the world.
The two male and two female white lions are the first born in the Riverina, and provide a population boost for their species which is on the brink to extinction.
Altina Wildlife Park's senior animal keeper Rebecca Surian said staff at the zoo were "absolutely excited" about their newest babies.
"On Saturday morning we discovered that or white lion Bella had three little babies, but she was still in labour, so we abandoned ship so she could have some peace and quiet," Ms Surian said. "When we checked again later we found four beautiful white little cubbies."
The animal keeper said lioness Bella and her boyfriend Tim had come to Altina two years ago.
"They are both nine years old and both Bella and Tim were born in Africa.
"It wasn't an easy process for Bella to fall pregnant - when she first arrived here she wasn't ovulating. That's why we're really excited about the cubs."
Ms Surian said naming rights for the four little lions would be auctioned off in a bid to give the cubs a good start into the future.
"All funds raised by auctioning off the naming rights will go directly back into our white lion breeding program," Ms Surian said.
"The money is totally for the lions - vet bills, dentists, worming and of course food."
Ms Surian said zoo keepers usually feed the Altina lions three times a week with about 11kg of meat, but while the cubs still drink milk lioness Bella has to be fed 3kg of meat every day.
Altina Wildlife Park, on the outskirts of Darlington Point, is open for visitors by appointment only and behind the scenes cub encounters can be booked.
"At the moment we offer visitors play time with the cubs four times a day," Ms Surian said.
2.5 Hour Cart Tours
With morning/afternoon tea provided in horse-drawn or motorised cart.
Adults: $34, children (2-16 year): $17, under two years of age: free
Picnic BBQ area available at secluded beach on the Murrumbidgee River (available with prior notice for morning tour only): $20
Tours available to the equivalent of two adults or more.
For special group pricing (school/senior/business/organisation) please contact the zoo on 0412 060 342.