First Gift of the holiday season: white lion cubs

The Toronto Zoo's eight-week-old lion cubs made their first public appearance on Thursday, displaying their cuteness in a video on the zoo's YouTube channel.Baby animals are almost always cute — but extremely rare baby animals? Who are only eight weeks old? And exploring their environment? They're so adorable they would make Ebeneezer Scrooge himself squeal like a teenager at a Justin Bieber concert.

The four male cubs were born Sep. 26 and 27, to white lion mother Makali. Doctors said their first 30 days of life would be crucial, and they are now reportedly all in good health.It is not yet possible to see the cubs at the zoo (they are still in the lion habitat's maternity ward) but this video of them exploring the environment has already made them Internet darlings.They are old pros at the fame game, having hit over 50,000 views in their premier YouTube video, which shows them snuggling and nursing with their mother.White lions, which have a mutated color and are not a separate species from African lions, are, "listed as vulnerable on the International Union for Conservation of Nature list of threatened species," reports CTV News Toronto. The Global White Lion Protection Trust estimates there are fewer than 300 white lions alive worldwide.

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