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Welcome, Sonja: Rare White Lion Born At Hungary Zoo, Makes First Public Appearance

The cub is just a couple of weeks old and spends most of her time either eating or sleeping.

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Updated:May 28, 2019, 12:11 PM IST
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Welcome, Sonja: Rare White Lion Born At Hungary Zoo, Makes First Public Appearance
Sonja, the nine days old white South African lion cub is held by zoo keeper Imre Sebok during the cub's presentation in Szeged Game Park in Szeged, Hungary, Friday, May 24, 2019. (Tibor Rosta/MTI via AP)
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A rare white lion born in Hungary’s Szeged Zoo earlier this month made its public appearance last Friday.

Named Sonja, the female lion cub weighed 1.5 kg when it was born on May 15.

The mother Nadja gave birth without complications, Robert Veprik, the director of the Zoo told journalists, after a medical examination of Sonja.

Sonja's weight has doubled since then.

The father Timba has been separated from Sonja and Nadja for a few weeks.

“In the meantime, those interested can see Sonja in the lion's house; her steps are also followed by a camera, so she can be seen on a monitor and on the zoo's website even when she wanders away from the glass wall,” Global Times reported.

According to reports, the cub is just a couple of weeks old and spends most of her time either eating or sleeping.

It would be wrong to call the white lions albinos. They aren't. Instead, it is due to a rare colour mutation. White lion cubs can be born only if both parents possess a recessive mutation in a gene that makes colored pigments called melanins, according to a National Geographic article.

There are only a few hundred white lions left around the world today, with most living in captivity.

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