These heart-warming images show an incredibly rare white lion cub playing with its tawny siblings in the famous in Kruger National Park in South Africa.
The cub can be seen huddling up around its mother as she lies on a rock, and running through the sand nearby.
The little white lion is leucistic – a condition often confused with albinism, but leucism only causes partial loss of pigmentation, and while an affected animal can have completely white fur or feathers, it does not affect the eyes.
Family fun-time: The incredibly rare white lion cub could be seen playing with its siblings under its mother’s watchful gaze in the famous Kruger National Park in South Africa
Hands-on parenting: The mother has grabbed one of the white cub’s siblings by its neck and is carrying it in her mouth
Rare b.east: The cub is leucistic, a genetic condition that is often confused with albinism
The photographs were taken by 30-year-old wildlife photographer Lyle McCabe, who said: ‘I was absolutely mind blown with this sighting.
‘We had known the cubs had been born about a month before but as per company protocol, we had moved away from the area for walking, tracking and driving off-road in order to ensure the safety of the animals.
‘I arrived at the spot and waited about ten minutes before we saw movement in the thicket, and out came the mother with a tawny youngster in her mouth followed closely behind by the pale youngster.
‘My family and friends have been overwhelmed by what I saw. The other guides I work with felt a mixture of excitement and deep jealousy.’
Little Leo: Leucism only causes partial loss of pigmentation, and while an affected animal can have completely white fur like this little cub, it does not affect the eyes
Where are you going: Mother lion can be seen keeping a close eye on her cubs as they play on nearby rocks
Toils of motherhood: In this funny photo sequence the mother appears almost to be rolling her eyes at her cubs
Give me a break: In one of the follow-up snaps, she has seemingly decided she has had enough and has laid down for a nap
Despite the cub’s appearance, Mr McCabe says it was treated no differently to its siblings – but it may face problems in the future.
He said: ‘We are all hopeful that all of the cubs will make it past the critical two-year mark which will increase their percentage of survival greatly.
‘Hopefully, we will have many more sightings of this very rare genetic change.
‘The road ahead will be a tough one for all the cubs but especially for this bright white youngster.
‘He will not only make things hard on himself when it comes to hunting in his white coat, but there is also the chance that he may hinder his siblings’ chances of survival by giving their position away, either at the den sight or hunting alongside the rest of the pride.’