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Siegfried & Roy welcome 3 snow-white lion cubs

By MICHELLE RINDELS
Associated Press
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/07/17/15/59/866-QiOQW.Em.55.jpeg|209
    John Locher - AP Photo
    A white lion cub climbs on a log during an event to welcome three white lion cubs to Siegfried & Roy's Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat Thursday, July 17, 2014, in Las Vegas. The three white lion cubs, born in South Africa, are scheduled to be available for public viewing Friday.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/07/17/15/59/455-YSv1h.Em.55.jpeg|220
    John Locher - AP Photo
    White lion cubs sit next to each other during an event to welcome the cubs to Siegfried & Roy's Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat, Thursday, July 17, 2014, in Las Vegas. Three white lion cubs, born in South Africa, are scheduled to be available for public viewing Friday.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/07/17/15/59/52-utIJd.Em.55.jpeg|211
    John Locher - AP Photo
    White lion cubs look on during an event to welcome three white lion cubs to Siegfried & Roy's Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat, Thursday, July 17, 2014, in Las Vegas. The three white lion cubs, born in South Africa, are scheduled to be available for public viewing Friday.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/07/17/15/59/856-1lZXLL.Em.55.jpeg|210
    John Locher - AP Photo
    Siegfried Fischbacher speaks with the media during an event to welcome three white lion cubs to Siegfried & Roy's Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat, Thursday, July 17, 2014, in Las Vegas. The three white lion cubs, born in South Africa, are scheduled to be available for public viewing Friday.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/07/17/15/59/429-zMSkc.Em.55.jpeg|224
    John Locher - AP Photo
    A white lion cub relaxes in grass at an event to welcome three white lion cubs to Siegfried & Roy's Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat on Thursday, July 17, 2014, in Las Vegas. The three white lion cubs, born in South Africa, are scheduled to be available for public viewing Friday.

LAS VEGAS Magicians Siegfried & Roy welcomed three new snowy white lion cubs to their Secret Garden habitat on the Las Vegas Strip.

The 14-week-old felines were born near Johannesburg, South Africa, and brought to the Mirage casino three weeks ago. They will be available for public viewing starting on Friday.

"Millions of people each year visit the Secret Garden and are awed by these great creatures," Siegfried Fischbacher said in a statement. "One by one, we are raising awareness for the plight of rare and endangered animals — our true mission."

The brothers are named Freedom, Madiba — the tribal name of Nelson Mandela — and Timba-Masai, which combines the names of the Timbavati region of South Africa and the name of the Masai tribe that lives there.

The lion have rare white coats after inheriting their parents' recessive genes. They are expected to weigh 500 pounds each when they reach their full size in two to four years.

Fischbacher and Roy Horn discontinued their magic stage show after a white tiger named Mantecore attacked Horn during a 2003 performance, leaving him partially paralyzed.

But they continue maintaining the Secret Garden zoo, which now features 13 tigers and six lions.

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