The population of the African lion is slowly dwindling across the massive range of Africa. The majority of lions observed in the wilderness are seen to have golden brown coats, but recently a genetic mutation has caused the coats of a few cubs to be “white”. The white gene is recessive, and less commonly seen in the wild due to it being ineffective for survival. The white coat may lead you to think that the white lions are albino, but that’s incorrect because true albinos can’t produce any type of pigment. Leslie Lyons, a geneticist at the University of Missouri, says the genetic mutation is really a lighter brown, not truly white. Researchers believe if the white lions are unable to successfully hunt, the white genome may fade out. This does not mean the end of the white lion due to the trait still being in the genes. Due to inbreeding in lions it’s not unusual for the recessive trait to pop up more often. There are currently sanctuaries in place to insure the survival of several white lion prides.