White Lion Facts: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Tammie Mihet

Tammie has taught elementary school for 14 yrs. and holds an MA in Instructional Technology

Imagine a lion prowling through the Africa savanna on the hunt for its next meal. Now imagine this prowling lion as a white lion! Yes, white lions really do exist. In this lesson, discover these fascinating and majestic creatures for yourself.

It's Magic

Many years ago, some of the most famous magic shows in the country used a very rare type of lion during its performances. In these magic shows, skilled magicians would seem to make these magnificent lions appear and disappear, but they didn't use just any lion. They used the stunning and rare white lion!

White Lion Relaxing

South Africa

Scientists believe that white lions have been around for centuries; however they were first seen by humans about four hundred years ago in the Timbavati region of South Africa. African legends say that the white lion traveled here on a falling star and that, because of the color of their fur, they symbolize goodness in nature. We all know that the white lion didn't travel here on a star, but why do we find them specifically in the Timbavati region?

Timbavati Region

Take a moment to picture a lion hunting. What do you see? You probably picture a lion crouching in the tall grass intently waiting for just the right moment to pounce! A lion uses camouflage to its advantage as it hides in waiting. But what if you were a white lion? Wouldn't it be hard to camouflage yourself? Not if you live in the Timbavati region of South Africa. In this region, you find white sandy riverbeds and long pale grass that's just perfect for a white lion to hide. That is why many scientists consider this region to be the white lion's natural habitat and a place where it can thrive in the wild.

Brilliant Fur

So where did that white fur come from? Well, white lions aren't actually pure white, and that's why some people refer to them as blond lions. It has taken scientists years to finally figure out what makes these lions have such a light coat. Here is what they've discovered:

  • A white lion is from the same species, or animal kind, as the African lion.
  • White lions have a gene in their body that blocks out the dark pigmentation, or color, leaving them with light fur coloring.

White Lion on Left, Yellow Lion on Right

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