A series of incredible pictures have captured the extremely rare sight of a white lion in the wild.
The white lion, dubbed Casper, was spotted prowling alongside his normal-looking brothers by wildlife photographer Villiers Steyn during an afternoon game drive from the Satara Restcamp in Kruger National Park, South Africa.
“I had been watching a herd of about 100 buffaloes drink at a small waterhole just south of camp when suddenly I spotted four lions approaching from the distance,” Steyn, who resides in Hoedspruit in Africa, said.
According to Steyn, one of the lions immediately stood out due to his rare color, and that’s when he realized that he was seeing one of the three known white lions in Africa that are part of the Shishangaan Pride and live in the south-central region of the national park. “I had heard about him, but never seen him with my own eyes,” Steyn said.
Referring to the rare moment, Steyn shared that as the buffaloes moved away from the waterhole, the lions keenly followed their scent, passing the waterhole and moving in the direction of the buffaloes.
However, on the way, the lions decided to take a brief moment of pause and rested beside Steyn’s vehicle in the beautiful afternoon light.
The photographer admits that he was really lucky to observe the four male lions, which share a close bond with each other. However, what really fascinated him was the noticeable difference in their manes.
“Obviously the white male has a different, much lighter color, but his mane is also a lot smaller than those of his normal-looking brothers,” Steyn said.
Alluding to the world-famous Casper, who is said to be leucistic, which is a rare gene mutation that makes his fur white, Steyn said that when he noticed the predator up close, he saw that Casper’s fur isn’t white like snow; rather, it is light cream in color, including his tail.
“I watched them relaxing in the open for over an hour and had to eventually leave them to get back to camp before the gates closed,” Steyn concluded.
Caters News Agency contributed to this story.