Lion cubs were born in the Dubai Safari park, which opens soon. Image Credit: Dubai Safari / DM / Supplied

Dubai: Dubai Safari has welcomed its first two lion cubs and children now have the chance to name them and be their VIP visitors before the Safari Park opens!

The rare white lion cubs from Timbavati in South Africa are among the first set of animals born in Dubai’s Dh1b wildlife park which is set to open its doors to the public within months.

They were born on August 2 to their parents named “Beauty” and “Big Boy,” Gulf News has learnt.

The birth of the cubs, one male and one female, came to light after Dubai Municipality released a short video on its social media pages on Tuesday evening. 

“Please join us in welcoming two new white lion clubs that were born at Dubai Safari recently,” the civic body said in the video which showed the cubs enjoying light moments with their mother in their current enclosure.  

“We invite children of all ages to suggest names for both cubs (one female and one male) by commenting below. Prizes include an exclusive tour of Dubai Safari for two people prior to its official launch, plus other special gifts. Terms and conditions apply,” it added.

Children can suggest names for both the cubs on the municipality’s official accounts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. 

Scan the QR code with your smarphone to participate in the cub-naming competition on the municipality's social media accounts


Hussain Nasser Lootah, the director general of Dubai Municipality said the civic body decided to launch the contest through its social media pages out of its keenness to connect children, who represent an integral part of the society, with the animal world rising in Dubai Safari.

The lion siblings are in excellent health under the care of their mom. They are under the supervision of highly skilled veterinarians and other specialists, the municipality said.

When contacted, Tim Husband, the technical director of Dubai Safari, told Gulf News that the lion siblings are the offspring of two “unlighted” lions from Timbavati.

“We call them Beauty and Big Boy,” he said.

Dubai Safari now has 16 white lions including the newborn cubs. “We had to make sure we picked up really good genetics. It took a long time to find the right ones so that we wouldn’t be doing any inbreeding. After we started our breeding campaign, Beauty was the first one to deliver the cubs.”

He said the genepool of the few white lions of Timbavati left in the wild is considered really valuable and there is a special stock book just for the white lions.

“There are only about 300 white lions in the world which are genetically good animals. There are more but, they are inbred.”