Meet Moya, he is a rare and now-famous white lion with the most fabulous mane.
This spectacular carnivore is a resident of the Glen Garriff Conservation lion sanctuary in South Africa.The six-year-old lion was photographed by Simon Needham, a British wildlife photographer, who was ‘shocked’ by Moya’s looks the first time he saw him.
‘I love animals, but Moya’s stunning coat blew me away the first time I saw it,’ he said.‘It was difficult to get close to him, but I had a few moments when he came close enough for me to get a few great shots as he walked his territory.‘When you are in the moment you don’t really get a chance to appreciate the beauty of it all but obviously, afterwards, I realised what lovely pictures we had.’
There are several white lions in the conservation but they are very rare in the wild.
Their coloring is a result of a genetic mutation called leucism, which is similar to albinism but not as extreme.
Simon said he hoped his photographs of Moya would help raise awareness of the sanctuary and for the plight of lions in the wild.
He added: ‘I think the story is one of conservation awareness and to highlight the very serious issues that lie in this world where many of the most iconic animals are on the brink of extinction in the wild.
‘If I can help to contribute to this in some small way then I’m honoured to be able to help.’
Simon works as a director and professional photographer and sells work, giving 50% back to conservations.
‘I’m really happy that we can bring some light onto this subject and at the same time bring support to GG Conservation,’ he said.