Wednesday, 4 October 2006
Mogo Zoo made history last week with the public release of the first ever white lion cubs born in Australia.
The 10-week-old cubs, female Purr, and male Joe, were introduced to their pride in a staged release for the very first time by their mother, Nkungwe, marking the first step in the Mogo Zoo’s vital commitment to keeping these rare animals alive.
Peugeot, the world’s second oldest car manufacturer which is known around the globe as the ‘lion brand’, is stepping up to the plate with a major corporate sponsorship to ensure Mogo Zoo’s pride of white lions continues to grow.
Peugeot first used a lion stamp as a sign of quality on its products way back in 1850, and the first Peugeot vehicle was adorned with the famous ‘rampant lion’ in 1907
The white lions hold a magical place in African folklore and are rarer than the legendary snow leopards of the Himalayas. White lions, which are white due to a recessive gene, the chinchilla mutation, have been extinct in the wild for over 12 years and a global breeding program has been developed in a desperate bid to save these magnificent animals.
Mogo Zoo imported Nkungwe, and another female cub and a male cub from their African ancestral home of Timbavati almost three years as part of a pledge to do what is necessary to ensure the survival of these rare lions.
The cubs are a key milestone for Mogo Zoo, a privately owned zoo committed to the survival of endangered animals and home to more than 100 animals of more than 38 rare and exotic species, and for the threatened white lion species.
Johannesburg Zoo claims to have bred the first white lion cubs in captivity in 1977. By 1995, there were fewer than 10 white lions worldwide. Purr and Joe represent not just an Australian first, but also a significant step forward for the endangered white lion breed.