Nala, a five-year-old white lioness, took everyone at the Drakenstein Lion Park by surprise when she gave birth to three white lion cubs a few days before Christmas.
Staff at the sanctuary, which rescues lions from abusive environments, noticed Nala was behaving oddly.
What made the birth a surprise however was the fact that Nala’s mate, Brutus, had been surgically sterilised more than three years prior.
The Lion Park stressed that it is a non-breeding sanctuary and that they are at a loss to explain the miraculous conception, especially considering that Brutus and Nala have been sexually mature for more than three years without such a mishap.
Nala and Brutus are both proving to be fantastic first time parents.
The Lion Park said on Facebook that they will be revisiting Brutus’s vasectomy once it is safe (for the cubs) to do so.
The cubs will remain at the sanctuary for life.
Since the birth of Nala’s cubs the Lion Park has been attacked by a number of individuals and groups on social media.
The park wrote the following on Facebook in response:
“Your attention and energies would be far better spent on the planned births at the hundreds of breeding facilities in SA daily, rather than one accidental birth at Drakenstein Lion Park in 18 years of operation, but I suppose it is far easier sitting behind a keyboard and slandering someone from afar rather than actually getting your hands dirty.”
Over the past 18 years the sanctuary has rescued 41 lions and provided all of them with a lifetime home.
“We help them to heal, we watch them adapt and thrive and eventually we watch them die here of natural causes.”