White lion cubs join Mossel Bay wildlife centre

Avatar BCR | October 10, 2007 48 Views 0 Likes 0 Ratings

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White lion cubs join Mossel Bay wildlife centre


JANINE OELOFSE Garden Route Bureau Chief


TWO white lion cubs have found a home at the Jukani Wildlife Ranch and Care Centre (JWR), which has just moved from George to Mossel Bay.


White lions are rare and only about 500 exist worldwide.


Jukani owner Jurg Olsen yesterday said the cubs had managed the move well and were in “excellent” health.


He said a tiger, however, had not survived the move.


Jukani, which is believed to be the first facility of its kind along the Garden Route, is home to lions, Bengal tigers and caracal.


The white lion male cub, Tsau (Star Beast), and female Tendile (Special One), are about nine weeks old and live with Olsen and his wife Karen.


Olsen said the two eat 200g of minced meat and a bottle of milk three times a day, in addition to special supplements. The milk cost R1 000 per week.


“All the white lions in the world are in captivity. They used to occur in the Timbavati region but they were rejected by the prides because of their colour, which offers poor camouflage.”


Olsen said when Tsau and Tendile were six months old they would be put in a special cub camp.


They will be transferred to adult facilities when they turn one. He hoped to breed with the pair at a later stage.


Olsen said Jukani would, hopefully, get a black leopard and two young elephants soon.


“We are very sad about the tiger that died in the move,” he said, adding that they hoped to replace the animal with another tiger cub. Caibi used to share an enclosure with a lioness and guests could often see the two big cats playing with Olsen.


The Olsens decided to start the Jukani Wildlife Ranch and Care Centre after witnessing horrific scenes in the canned hunting industry where hunters shoot and kill tamed lions.


Jukani was established in June last year with six lions, two Bengal tigers and two caracals.


It now houses springbok, around 40 different snake species and predators including tigers, lions, leopards, hyenas and caracal.


“JWR is not a zoo and our enclosures were designed to give our animals the freedom to run, play and exercise to their heart‘s content,” Olsen said.



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