The Zoological Wildlife Foundation (ZWF Miami) has announced the arrival of two white lion cubs, Kunto (male) and Kahina (female), who were rescued from canned hunters in South Africa.
Canned hunting is a popular and fastgrowing business in South Africa and especially white lions are bred in farms to be shot by wealthy foreign trophy-hunters.
“We are thrilled that we were able to rescue these two cuddly cubs and give them a safe and loving home,” said Mario and Maria Tabraue, founders of ZWF Miami. “There are approximately 32,000 wild lions left in the world today, and its important that we protect these threatened wildlife.”
The cubs, Kunto and Kahina, come from an African breeding lodge and recently arrived via air through Miami International Airport. They were immediately transported to their new home, ZWF Miami — a foundation accredited by the Zoological Association of America as a zoo and a conservation facility that is dedicated to educating the public about rare and endangered animal species in captivity and in the wild.
Recognized by TripAdvisor as the 2015 winner of “#1 Thing to Do in Miami,” based on guests ratings, at ZWF Miami, Kunto and Kahina will live in a beautiful, lush naturallooking enclosure with two previously rescued white lions, Kumba and Kheira. The area includes an oversized 40- by 100-foot space, featuring a giant rock formation and a 10- by 40-foot sheltered area for added protection from the sun and rain.
The white lion is a rare color mutation of the Kruger subspecies of African lion (Panthera leo krugeri) found in some wildlife reserves in South Africa and in zoos around the world. White lions are not albinos; their white color is caused by a recessive trait derived from a less-severe mutation in the same gene that causes albinism, distinct from the gene responsible for white tigers and they vary in color from blonde to near white.
ZWF Miami is a facility that survives on the generous donations of its contributors and these donations allow for the rescue of rare and endangered animal species. If not hunted as a sport, white lions also are often sold as pets in Arab and South American countries.
Guests who visit ZWF Miami can now see the newbie cubs, Kunto and Kahina.
Located south of Miami on five breathtaking acres of land, ZWF Miami is home to everything from domestic animals, leopards, big cats primates, large predatory birds and mammals to dozens of exotic species, most of which are available for interactive encounters with the public. ZWF Miami has a sister facility that is a private reserve where confiscated and unwanted exotics reside, the Wildlife Conservation and Education, which breeds endangered species in captivity, helps injured animals and rescues animals from being terminated or from being raised to be hunted.
The Zoological Wildlife Foundation is located at 16225 SW 172 Ave., Miami, FL 33187; telephone, 305-969-3696/786-423- 8099.
The facility is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. but visits/tours must be booked in advance. There are a variety of tours available for which there are fees. For more information about ZWF Miami or to schedule a private tour, visit www.zwfmiami.com.