KARINE AIGNER: WHITE LION
White lions, are not albino. They are “leucistic”, which means they have a recessive mutation of genes which cause their coats to be white to blonde-rather than tawny. A cub is born white only if both of its parents carry the recessive ‘white’ gene. White lions once roamed wild in the Timbavati area of South Africa. Their presence spans throughout the cultural history of the Sepedi and Tsonga communities who revered the white lion and considered it sacred; ‘divine, and sent from above.’ But, decades of trophy hunting first started by Europeans completely wiped out the white lion wild gene pool. They were also put in zoos, and bred in captivity, where today they are still bred, put in canned hunts, and cute blue eyed cubs put in petting zoos. Pressure on exploitive captive wildlife places can help close them down—deeply research places with white lions before supporting them; many are not as “conservation oriented” as they state--especially not ones with lion cubs of any age. BIO: Karine Aigner is an award winning photographer whose work focuses on the relationships between humans and their natural world. A fellow with the International League of Conservation Photographers (iLCP) and a member of Girls Who Click (a non-profit organization offering free photographic workshops to inspire teen girls that they too can have careers as a wildlife photographer), Aigner’s work has been featured in National Geographic Magazine, Audubon Magazine, Nature Conservancy Magazine, WWF and BBC Wildlife to name a few. WEBSITE: www.karineaigner.com INSTAGRAM: @kaigner
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