While driving through South Africa’s Timbavati Game Reserve, wildlife enthusiast Scott Peterson came across a very rare sighting: a white lion cub. The cat might be tiny, but what it lacks in size it makes up in bravado. Just listen to that "mighty" roar!

Seeing a white lion in the wild is incredibly rare - big cats with the genetic anomaly were thought extinct until 2006. Interestingly, they're not actually albino, but rather posses a recessive gene mutation that causes a partial lack of pigment, similar to leucism. White lions typically have black noses, blue and gold eyes, and dark "eye-liner" and patches just behind the ears. 

"We were the first to see the little cub," recalls Peterson. "The little white head popped out of one of the thick bushes ... mom was trying to get all her cubs away from this particular area and across the road, but the white cub kept running out towards us to investigate, even going so far as to 'growl' at us."

In most cases, we'd expect an abnormally light animal to have a tough life, as hiding from predators can be tricky. But the Timbavati region (the only place in the world white lions are found) is known for its white-sand riverbeds and pale grasses, so the unusual cats are pretty well camouflaged. Here's hoping we see this cub for years to come! 


Top header image: Arno Meintjes/Flickr