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PHOTOS: Rare white lion cub born at Texas zoo

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Posted at 11:43 AM, Jul 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-22 11:43:25-04

When staff at the Ellen Trout Zoo in Lufkin, Texas welcomed a new lion cub to the zoo, they were shocked to find out he was a rare white lion.

The zoo contacted the Lion Species Survival Plan, which said that white lion births are very uncommon in zoos within the program, and the lion doesn't always stay white.

A white lion born a few years ago returned to its natural color after only six months, according to the zoo.

“We had no idea what to expect, both parents are normal colored lions,” Celia Falzone, zoo curator told KITV. “White coloring is a natural mutation, it does occur in the wild, but it’s a recessive genetic trait.”

Staff had been trying to limit the interaction with the cub, according to KITV, so that the mother could bond with him.

On Thursday, the six-day-old cub was given its first medical exam, and was found to be a male cub, weighing 4.5 pounds.