Thursday, July 17, 2014 | 2:57 p.m.
Legendary Las Vegas illusionists Siegfried & Roy this morning welcomed three white lion cubs to their Secret Garden & Dolphin Habitat at the Mirage.
Siegfried Fischbacher, Roy Horn and Franz Kallao, vice president of hotel operations at the Mirage, presented the brothers to VIPs and media this morning. The 14-week-old felines were born near Johannesburg, South Africa, and transported to the Strip last month.
The trio of snow-white cubs goes on display to the public at Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden & Dolphin Habitat starting at 11 a.m. Friday.
“Millions of people each year visit the Secret Garden and are awed by these great creatures,” Fischbacher said in a news release. “One by one, we are raising awareness for the plight of rare and endangered animals — our true mission.”
The three cubs, born April 14, are named Madiba — the tribal name of Nelson Mandela — Timba-Masai, the names of the Timbavati region of South Africa and the tribe, Masai, that inhabits the area, and Freedom.
The cubs have rare white coats after inheriting their parents’ recessive genes. Freedom, Madiba and Timba-Masai are expected to weigh in at 500 pounds apiece in two to four years when they reach adulthood.
Siegfried & Roy ended their long-running and legendary Las Vegas spectacular at the Mirage after Horn was injured and paralyzed by the white tiger Mantecore (long spelled Montecore) during a performance on Oct. 3, 2003.
Hours of operation are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Fridays through Sundays.
Thanks to Steve Marcus of the Las Vegas Sun for his super-cute photo gallery.
Don Chareunsy is senior editor for arts and entertainment of the Las Vegas Sun.
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
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