Majestic white lion with immaculate head of hair is a hit at South African wildlife sanctuary 

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The mane attraction: Majestic white lion with immaculate head of hair is a hit at South African wildlife sanctuary

  • A white lion with an impressive mane of hair is proving a hit at a wildlife sanctuary in Harrismith, South Africa
  • Simon Needham snapped a series of photos of the striking animal at the Glen Garriff Lion Conservation
  • The lion’s white appearance is caused by a condition known as leucism – causing a partial loss of pigmentation

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A stunning white-haired lion sporting an immaculate mane of hair has proven to be a leading attraction at a wildlife sanctuary in South Africa.

The well-coiffured lion was photographed by director and photographer Simon Needham, 55, at the Glen Garriff Lion Conservation in Harrismith, South Africa.

The stunning photos captured the male white lion in all his glory as he wandered around the conservation.

This stunning white lion showed off its impressive mane as it wandered around the Glen Garriff Lion Conservation

This stunning white lion showed off its impressive mane as it wandered around the Glen Garriff Lion Conservation

As if knowing that it had a camera pointed in its direction, the white-haired lion seemed to lie down and pose

As if knowing that it had a camera pointed in its direction, the white-haired lion seemed to lie down and pose

One image shows the lion lying down with its impressive mane on the ground, while another catches the animal mid-roar. 

Speaking about the stunning white lion, Simon said: ‘I captured these images to help promote @GGConseervation on social media,’ he says. ‘When I capture images that I know will help support the charity I am shooting for is always a great feeling.

‘Bringing attention to a worthy cause is difficult but strong visual images can really draw people in.

‘All endangered species of animals need our help if we are to expect them to be around for our children and grandchildren.

The lion's unusual white appearance is caused by a condition known as leucism - which causes a partial loss of pigmentation in animals

The lion’s unusual white appearance is caused by a condition known as leucism – which causes a partial loss of pigmentation in animals

The lions razor sharp teeth could be seen in all their glory in this photo, which was taken as the animal began to roar

The lions razor sharp teeth could be seen in all their glory in this photo, which was taken as the animal began to roar

‘It is only with continued support that we can hope to save these species from extinction.’

Although appearing to be albino, white lions are in fact the product of a rare colour mutation known as leucism.

This condition causes a partial loss of pigmentation in animals, resulting in the distinctive white appearance.

Leucism is commonly caused by a recessive gene, known as a colour inhibitor.  

The first lion was introduced to the Glen Garriff Lion Conservation in 2002 and now, the organisation has more than 70 lions under its care.

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