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Risk of high consanguinity in captivity
White lions have never been common in nature, the largest population is kept in zoos around the world where they are raised for biological conservation and biodiversity. White lions are selectively reared to perpetuate their color by obtaining white lion lines. Mating in captivity presents risks of consanguinity leading to the appearance of genetic disorders involving cardiac problems, paralysis, stillbirths or premature death. As with the white tiger, the Species Survival Plan (SSP) coordinators strongly discourage the crossing of lions for the sole purpose of creating white lions. White lions of the different lineages were mated in the breeding center to improve their genetic diversity and reduce consanguinity.
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