LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - It was an exciting day in Lufkin as people made their way out to the Ellen Trout Zoo to meet a new baby lion cub for the first time.
Ashur which means precious was born back in July and just turned 7 weeks old, which is around the time that most lion cubs start to venture out with their mothers.
This is the second recorded lion ever to be born white in North America.
Zoo Director Gordon Henley said he's been looking forward to this day.
"He is at a point in the wild in which the female would be taking the cub to meet the father and get out and so we thought this would be a good opportunity to allow him into the exhibit." Henley said.
The cub was also just recently introduced to his father Mashaka.
"He was with his father for about 2 hours, the mother and the father and the cub were all together and that process is going very well and we hope that in the very near future all of them will be out." Henley said.
Zookeepers opened the doors to the cubs habitat around ten o'clock, but much to the crowds disappointment Ashur and his mother Adia were a little shy.
A select few however were able to catch their first glimpse of the playful cub.
Zoo Visitor Elda Miller said that she felt lucky to see the cub.
"She's just thrilled us a couple of times when she's come almost out, like she's going to come out, the baby's following her, he's adorable." Miller said.
Zoo Visitor Josie Jackson said that this is a special moment for the community.
"It's rare that you have something like this in your city, you know a white lion, it's so exciting."
Hundreds of people showed up throughout the day and some even brought cubs of their own who embraced their inner lion at the exhibit.
The door to the habitat is expected to remain open for the next few days until Ashur and his mother are both comfortable with being out in the open.
Ashur is part of a breeding program and will eventually end up at another zoo with a female that's a suitable match for him.