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Rare white lion born in Qld zoo
Rare white lion born in Qld zoo

A little known Queensland zoo has made history after the successful birth of the state’s first white lion cub.

The species is extinct in the wild, but now there are plans to rebuild the population.

In a hot tin shed on the Darling Downs, is a tiny newborn and a tired first time mum. Kwanza was born on Monday last week in a first for the Darling Downs Zoo and Queensland.

"There's only been two zoos in the whole of Australia that have actually bred white lions," zoo manager Steve Robinson explained.

This morning, the little lion went on show for the first time - he slept for most of it.

As Kwanza grows up, he'll be watched over by two-year-old Maddie – the daughter of the zoo’s owner.

"She's very aware of how to behave around the lions and yeah she's very spoiled," park manager Stephanie Robinson said.

Kwanza was 1.6kg when he was born and he's put on 500 grams in his first week - an extraordinary growth rate for a lion cub.

It’s expected he'll grow to be more than 220kg - the biggest cat at the zoo and prime breeding stock.

White lions currently exist only in captivity but it is hoped births like Kwanza's will change that in time.

"If things improve in the wild, they may be able to return to the wild but it won't be in my lifetime," Steve Robinson said.