Wednesday, November 15, 2017

The White Lions of Timbavati

The white lions of Timbavati
came here from the stars.
The shaman says the lions' fate
is intertwined with ours.
Long ago, they shared our caves.
When earth was bathed in ice,
one looked into a human's eyes,
offered himself in sacrifice.
They offered themselves to us to eat,
so humankind could survive.
In return, we have hunted them
to extinction -
just thirteen wild ones
left alive.

The legend of the white lions, many of whom have blue eyes,  is that they came to earth from a star that is aligned with Timbavati, in Africa, where they originated. The people of those lands believe white lions are messengers of the gods.  The shaman, Credo Mutwa, explains their fate is intertwined with ours and when the last white lion leaves the earth, humankind will disappear.

They have been hunted to the edge of extinction. There are now only hundreds, in captivity, mostly in canned hunting compounds, where they are being raised to be shot. There are thirteen wild ones left alive.

The Global  White Lion Protection Trust, founded by Linda Tucker, is devoted to keeping three prides of white lions alive in a 4400 acre refuge in the bushveld in Africa. Linda has written books about the white lions and her heartbreaking efforts to keep safe those few who are left. It was to Linda that Credo Mutwa told the legend of the white lions, and their link with humankind. Her book, above, is one of the best I have ever read.

for Susan's prompt at Midweek Motif: Meteor showers. I imagine a meteor  shower depositing some star lions many eons ago, in the heartlands of Africa. These lions wander through my dreams..........


  1. A long ago meteor shower of white lions! It is possible. It is even more possible that our fate is wrapped up with theirs. Those two prides cannot be all--perhaps if we take care of children, we're taking care of the kin of the white lions. Our future is wrapped up with theirs.

  2. Such a powerful story told so well. I loved reading this.

  3. Yes. I have read about them and am familiar with that legend. Happy to see it image-ed in your poem Sherry

    Happy you dropped by my blog today


  4. Sad that there are so few. Sad that we have robbed the world of so many of the animals that once walked the earth. I am a meat eater - so I am thankful for those that give their life to me. I do try to be conscious of how they were treated and I don't think I could eat an endangered species. Think of the kids that one day will never see them.

  5. Thank you for your telling of your words Sherry - I have learnt.
    When will we realise we are slowly destroying our world...
    Anna :o]

  6. Beautiful legend. Sad that when the white lions disappear, we will disappear as well. the Native Americans have a similar legend about the white buffalo. So very sad that these beautiful animals are being hunted.

  7. Saw a white lion family at a reserve in South Africa.. amazingly beautiful creatures! Love the legend!

  8. This breaks my heart. Most of humanity has lost its earth spirit connection. We consume until beauty becomes extinct.

  9. To think of the human kinds capable of such lowly acts breaks my heart. May the tribe of these heavenly creatures increase.

  10. It's sad how we treat nature and the poor animals :(

  11. We have not treated kindly the many 'messengers from the gods' in our midst. I hope they are able to bring these white lions back from the edge of extinction!

  12. It is sad to think the world might lose the white lions. How many other species are on the brink of extinction?
    We must preserve those we still have.

  13. Sherry,
    A magnificent tribute to the fine white lions and their near demise..What a dreadful shame and only highlights the ever increasing list of animals in the same's absolute disrespect for this earth. An excellent poem with a very moving subject at its heart..


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