White Lions Find Refuge in DFW Exotic Feline Sanctuary

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    White lions, like the cub on the right, are an extremely rare subspecies of the African lion and are not albinos, but a genetic rarity.

    Three white lions malnourished to the point that they have difficulty eating have been brought to a big cat sanctuary in Wylie.

    Veterinarians are tying to determine how ill the lions are. They were brought to In-Sync Exotics in Wylie on Friday after being seized by the U.S. Department of Agriculture from a Texas wildlife exhibitor in Kaufman County.

    Vicky Keahey, who runs the sanctuary, tells The Dallas Morning News, "I'd call this probably the worst I've gotten."

    The lions -- Jazz, Shazam and Sheila -- 42 other exotic cats at the sanctuary. The animals are said to be in poor health, have pressure sores from lying in one place and have a difficult time keeping their heads up.

    The white lions have unusually light fur but are not albinos. Their color results from a rare genetic mutation.

    Neither the exhibitor, Marcus Cook, or Dept. of Agriculture officials could be reached for comment, DallasNews said.