Zookepers at Guangzhou Zoo in China have denied giving a male lion ‘straight bangs’ after some photos of the eccentric hairdo went viral on China’s Weibo platform.
Often dubbed the King of the Jungle, the lion owes a lot of its animal kingdom prowess to the sleek-looking manes of males. Apparently, similarly to us, these majestic animals also sometimes cut their own hair and then have to spend weeks growing out the results of their impulsive decision.
Meet Hang Hang, a male white lion, who has just probably been through something like that, judging by his truly puzzling hairdo and what zookepers had to say about it – they have denied having any part in what seems to be a kind of bowl-cut, with a bizarrely straight fringe.
The denial came after people started accusing the zoo’s staff of giving Hang Hang the anomalous – alright, animalous – haircut, since it is presented with such precision. The zoo has refuted the allegations repeatedly though, suggesting in an official statement that hot temperatures and the high humidity in Guangzhou could have caused the animal’s mane to hang down like that. They added that the lion’s own grooming routine may also have been involved, which is perhaps the most amusing (and relatable) explanation.
In either way, Hang Hang doesn’t seem bothered by his new hairstyle at all.
Hang Hang is part of the rare species of white lions known for the color of their fur, which can range from a pale blond to a striking white. Their distinctive hue is due to a recessive trait called ‘leucism’, a less-severe gene mutation than that of albinism.
Although these amazing animals were pronounced extinct in the wild between 1992 and 2004, thanks to the Global White Lion Protection Trust the species was reintroduced back into their natural habitat, and today there are three prides flourishing in the wild.
So, chances are that we will be seeing more and more of that special white lion hairdo – given the zookeepers are truly innocent.