tourism

Meet Leo and Snowy: Dubai Safari’s white lion cubs

Mohammad Fazza and Adib Al Jazzer who won the Name the Cubs competition get a VIP tour

06:05 October 3, 2017
NAT LION CUBS

Dubai: The first pair of lion cubs born at the Dubai Safari park have been named Leo and Snowy, Dubai Municipality announced on its social media pages.

The names for the rare white lion siblings were chosen by children who took part in a social media contest run by the civic body last month.

Mohammad Fazza and Adib Al Jazzer won the Name the Cubs competition. They will get a VIP tour of Dubai Safari and other special prizes.


“That’s not all! Everyone who participated will also win FREE entry tickets!,” the municipality’s post added.

     


More than a 1,000 people participated in the contest, Khalid Sultan Hilal Al Suwaidi, director of Leisure Facilities Department told Gulf News on Monday.

He said Hussain Nasser Lootah, director-general of Dubai Municipality, decided to give free tickets to all the participants.

Participants and winners have been asked sent direct messages to municipality for more details on prize collection.

Residents’ children of all ages were invited to suggest names for the cubs.


The jury for selecting the names of the male and female cubs born to two lions from Timbavati in South Africa chose the winners on Sunday.

The municipality also posted a video of the selection procedures in which two children took part along with senior officials. Another video featured images of the cubs, which look slightly bigger than in the first visuals released last month. Al Suwaidi said the cubs are in good health. “They are growing and look bigger now,” he said.

Leo and Snowy are among the first set of animals born in Dubai’s Dh1b wildlife park, which is set to open to the public by the end of November as announced by Lootah last week.

The cubs were born on August 2 to their parents named Beauty and Big Boy, Tim Husband, technical director of Dubai Safari, told Gulf News last month.

Dubai Safari now has 16 white lions, including the cubs. “We had to make sure we picked up really good genetics. It took a long time to find the right ones so that we wouldn’t be doing any inbreeding. After we started our breeding campaign, Beauty was the first one to deliver the cubs,” Husband said.

He said the gene pool of the few white lions of Timbavati left in the wild is considered really valuable and there is a special stock book just for them.

“There are only about 300 white lions in the world, which are genetically good animals. The rest are inbred.”