Lions are majestic creature, no doubt, but it’s even more impressive when a lion seems to know it is fabulous. A few pictures of a white lion named Moya have gone viral on account of his fabulous mane and majestic pose.
The resident of Glen Garriff Conservation lion sanctuary in South Africa has luscious hair that will put any hair-care product commercial to shame. The six-year-old big cat was captured by a British photographer Simon Needham who shared his photographs on Instagram.
According to Metro, Needham was “shocked by his looks” when he saw Moya for the first time and called his coat “stunning”. “It was difficult to get close to him, but I had a few moments when he came close enough for me to get a few great shots as he walked his territory,” he said.
He said when someone is in the moment (working on a photograph), then one doesn’t get a chance to appreciate the beauty in front of them. However, he realised “what lovely pictures” he had afterwards. Here is the viral beauty:
Several white lions live at the conservation, though they are rare in the wild. The distinct colour is a result of a genetic mutation. Two copies of a recessive gene must be present in order for the usually golden lion to go albino.
Needham said he was guided by the director of the non-profit lion sanctuary, Suzanne Scott. He hopes the photographs of Moya can help raise awareness not only about the sanctuary, but also the plight of the lions in the wild. He said conversation missions are extremely important as so many beautiful animals lie on the brink of extinction form this world.
“If I can help to contribute to this in some small way then I’m honoured to be able to help,” he said.
According to Whitelions.org, about 300 white lions remain. The white-skin mutation occurs specifically in the Southern African lion and the condition is known as leucism. It is a form of albinism, but isn’t exactly albinism.