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Lufkin's Ellen Trout Zoo welcomes very rare white-haired lion cub

Houston Chronicle logo Houston Chronicle 22/07/2016 Heather Leighton, Houston Chronicle

On Friday, African lioness Adia gave birth to her second cub and to the surprise of the zoo staff, the cub had a stark-white fur. © Ellen Trout Zoo African lioness Adia The Ellen Trout Zoo in Lufkin, Texas recently welcomed a new lion cub with a very rare feature.

On Friday, African lioness Adia gave birth to her second cub and to the surprise of the zoo staff, the cub had stark-white fur.

Zoo curator Celia Falzone contacted the Lion Species Survival Plan coordinator to determine the frequency of white-lion births. According to the plan coordinator, only one other lion cub with white fur has been born in a North American zoo.

On Friday, African lioness Adia gave birth to her second cub and to the surprise of the zoo staff, the cub had a stark-white fur. © Ellen Trout Zoo The cub

"We don't know if the white coloration is permanent or something that will be grown out of," said Gordon Henley, the director of Ellen Trout Zoo. The other cub's white coat slowly transformed into normal coloration by the time it was six months old, according to the survival plan representatives.

This new cub is Adia's second birth. The first, Sango, had to be hand-reared because Adia failed to produce milk, but this time around she has had all the appropriate motherly instincts.

The new cub's gender is yet to be determined, because the zoo's veterinarian has been away. As soon as the doctor returns, the naming process will begin.

On Friday, African lioness Adia gave birth to her second cub and to the surprise of the zoo staff, the cub had a stark-white fur. © Ellen Trout Zoo On Friday, African lioness Adia gave birth to her second cub and to the surprise of the zoo staff, the cub had a stark-white fur.

"We wanted to be sure to know the gender before we go in to find a name for it,"Henley said. "We like to keep an African theme for our lions."

Henley says the zoo doesn't have a tentative time for the cub's public debut, because it all depends on the lioness and her interaction with the cub.

On Friday, African lioness Adia gave birth to her second cub and to the surprise of the zoo staff, the cub had a stark-white fur. © Ellen Trout Zoo African lioness Adia

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