Rare white lion cubs unveiled in France

Charlotte Carter

Photos of two rare white lion cubs have been unveiled by a North-Western French animal sanctuary.

The two cubs were born at the end of July 2019 after their parents, Nala and Simba, were rescued from the circus by French animal rescue association Caresse de tigre.

Photos of the two cubs were released to the public earlier this week.

The Caresse de tigre association collect wild animals in captivity, from places like circuses and zoological gardens and care for them at a sprawling sanctuary on the banks of the river Seine.

(AFP/Getty Images)

White lions are native to South Africa, but only a handful remain in the wild.

Their white colour is caused by a recessive trait derived from a less-severe mutation in the same gene that causes albinism, distinct from the gene responsible for white tigers.

White lions have a life expectancy of 16.8 years when living in a zoo, according to the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden.