As a tiny child, British photographer Simon Needham is overjoyed that he was able to not only see a lion named Moya but also “persuade” him to pose for photographs. This is due to two factors: the lion is egotistical and capricious, and it was vital to select an angle from which all of his beauty would be shown. Why else would you take pictures?
Moya is not an albino, but rather a carrier of a rare gene mutation that has turned his skin and mane white. As a result, it is sometimes referred to as “fantastic,” because it is exceedingly beautiful and surreal, as if miraculous.
A six-year-old large cat lives in South Africa’s Glenn Garriff Reserve, where he is safe from harm. Photographers are also prohibited from leaving their vehicles so as not to disturb the gorgeous beast. But, as Needham points out, it’s worth the wait and patience since Moya understands her worth and, on occasion, purposefully strikes the correct poses for filming!
Moya’s gorgeous white mane enchants and seduces at first sight. There are other white lionesses in the reserve; who knows, perhaps they will bear beautiful white lion cubs?