Themba the rare White Lion dies in Kent on World Lion Day

Jazzy

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"One of the UK’s most beautiful lions has died on World Lion Day.
whf-themba-2.jpg
Themba was head of the White Lion pride at the Wildlife Heritage Foundation Big Cat Sanctuary in Smarden, Kent. He was seven years old.

White Lions are incredibly rare – they are not albinos, but are a genetic rarity only native to Greater Timbavati and Kruger Park in South Africa.

Themba had been at the Kent sanctuary since 2012, and had fathered six cubs with two lionesses Joy and Sophia.

His cause of death is yet to be officially determined, but officials at the park believe he died of natural causes.

‘We are all devastated by Themba’s unexpected passing, he will be sorely missed,’ Giles Clark, director of big cats and conservation at the park, said.

‘But we should emphasises that African Lions are now vulnerable in the wild with their numbers rapidly declining due to human impact.

‘The reality of the situation is that lions could be extinct within our lifetime without holistic conservation efforts to turn the situation around.’

Loss of habitats and dwindling numbers of prey have decimated lion population numbers over the last few decades.

According to the World Lion Day campaign, in 1975 there were some 250,000 lions in Africa. Today, the population is just 25,000 to 30,000 individuals across the continent.

WLD warns that the extinction of the African lion is ‘imminent’."

Source

What a magnificent looking Lion. RIP Themba :(
 
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