White lion Azira is pictured with one of her three new born cubs in their enclosure in the privately-owned zoo by Andrzej Pabich in Boryszew, central Poland. Picture: JANEK SKARZYNSKI

Borysew, Poland -

A private zoo owner in central Poland feels three times lucky with the birth of white lion triplets who are getting loving care from their mother.

Andrzej Pabich, head of the zoo in Borysew, said white lions often have defects that prevent giving birth, or mothers may reject the cubs. Triplets are rare.

Pabich told The Associated Press on Tuesday that the 2 ½ -year old white lioness Azira has been patiently feeding and caring for the cubs that were born January 28. Their father, 3 ½-year old Sahim, who is also white, is kept in a neighbouring cage.

The cubs will be allowed into an outdoor run in April.

Opened in 2008, the zoo has animals of 80 species including white tigers and white camels. - Sapa-AP