LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - The folks at Lufkin's Ellen Trout Zoo are asking for the public's help in naming the rare white lion cub that was born on July 15.
The lion club is now almost two weeks old, and his eyes have opened.
The zoo's administration will be taking votes through midnight on Sunday, July 31.
You can click on the link at the bottom of this story to vote on the names, which include Ashur, Jelani, Zuberi, Kofi, Ghali, Phuma, Nguvu, Hasani, and Tyrosinase. The link also has the meaning of each name.
When the zoo staff gave the cub his first medical exam on July 21, he weighed 4.5 pounds, according to the zoo's Facebook page.
Gordon Henley, the director of the Ellen Trout Zoo said they had been anxiously awaiting the cub's birth for the past 110 days. He also said that the baby is the mother's second cub, and although they expected a litter of two or three cubs, they never expected a white lion.
"We had no idea what to expect, both parents are normal colored lions," said Celia Falzone, zoo curator. "White coloring is a natural mutation, it does occur in the wild, but it's a recessive genetic trait."
That would mean both parents were carrying this rare gene, and the odds of this occurring are next to impossible.
"I think it's pretty exciting that we had the birth, and that its white, but I hope people are patient about when we let them see it in captivity, we will get the cub out when its ready," Falzone said.
Zoo keepers are being very careful to limit human interaction with the cub because the last time the mother, named Adia, gave birth she wasn't able to care for it herself.
To vote on the lion cub's name, click this link.