Monday, September 5, 2016

The White Lions of Timbavati

The white lions of Timbavati are wandering through my dreams, with their white manes and blue, blue eyes. Star travelers, they came here from the sky, living in a spot where the stars aligned, a power place, where our forefathers are said to have traveled, also from the stars. In those ancient days, the lions shared their caves with man, and our fates became entwined. When starvation threatened man's extinction, the lion offered himself to man to eat, to save his life. The shaman says the fate of man and the fate of the white lions is interwoven: whatever befalls the white lions will befall man. Today they have been hunted to near extinction, like everything beautiful that humans try to conquer. Those few who are left visit my dreams, their blue eyes asking, "why do you not see, what you do to us, you are doing to yourselves? Your souls' measure is taken by how you use your guns." Their small white cubs cry piteously, as their parents are lost to canned "hunting", to our everlasting shame. The shaman says killing a lion sun god is a sacrilege, for they are sent as enlightenment bearers, with a message for humanity at this time.

If we do not hear the message
the white lions of Timbavati will disappear
along with our hopes for the future of the earth.

Note: There are fewer than thirteen white lions still living in the wild, less than 300 existing world-wide, most in canned "hunting" enclosures. A few are kept in a refuge by people dedicated to saving them from extinction. I learned about them in one of the most riveting books I have ever read, "The Mystery of the White Lions: Children of the Sun God" by Linda Tucker, who has made it her mission to save the white lions who are left.

Posted for Toni Spencer's   prompt at dVerse: a haibun about the stars.


  1. n family at a conservation centre in S. Africa... gosh they are lovely. It really speaks of our horrible destructive nature that so many species are endangered.

  2. Thank you for writing about such a magnificent and spiritual animal. Very similar to the plight of the Spirit Bear in your area.

  3. As usual I'm saddened by everything we can do at our worst... the we the human, the us of guns and conquering... and yes for every shot we fire, another bit of us will die.

  4. Sooner hUmanS
    reaLize NaturE
    and God is onE
    and sAMe.. sooner
    humaNs are no longeR
    doomed the do do bird
    of duh
    in harming
    sKeYes oF
    oNe and sAMe..

    Apex fools
    wHo kNoW
    And FeeL no hoMe..:)

  5. I'll try and get the book. These men and their stupid, stupid egos makes me very very cross!

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  7. white lions "with their white manes and blue, blue eyes." spectacular! and what the humans are doing to them!!!!...just read on FB, an Ethiopian girl was saved by a pride of lions from being gang raped...they simply stood by her till the cowards fled; later four of these guys had been arrested... probably the lions were attracted by her cries and moans...

  8. How sad to be hunted down to near extinction. I am sorry this is happening to other creatures as well Sherry. It is a sacrilege that their numbers are so few now.

  9. "YOur souls' measure is taken by how you use your guns.
    I am smitten by the entire haibun and so grateful you posted this. So beautifully written. I am also struck by the universality of this one sentence.

  10. The sacredness of Native folklore--so sad that these incredible creatures are so threatened.

  11. Star travelers, they came here from the sky...

    This is just dreamy, Sherry. <3

  12. The fault of being a beautiful specimen will unwittingly attract the hunter's gun. A pity that man's greed is the prompter!


  13. I never heard of a white lion with blue eyes...what a magnificent creature!


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