Keepers lift a box containing the lioness Frosty, at her new home Isle of Wight Zoo. Picture by Jennifer Burton.
UPDATED FRIDAY 10:37*
A CAMERA-SHY lioness kept keepers waiting for the mane event at Isle of Wight Zoo today (Thursday), where she arrived to be united with her half-brother.
The six year old called Frosty was rejected by her pride at West Midlands Safari Park and was brought to the Isle of Wight to join her half-brother Casper, in the hope they will offer each other companionship for life.
But after being transported to the Isle of Wight by ferry and arriving at the zoo, things did not go quite to plan.
Expectant keepers, staff from the West Midlands and the press, gathered to watch Frosty have her first stroll around her new home.
But, despite the efforts of zoo staff to encourage her, Frosty refused to leave the wooden transport crate she had travelled in.
After more than two hours of waiting, zoo director Charlotte Corney said: "All the other lions, like Charlie Brown and Nahla, are calling and making lots of noise.
"We were thinking they were calling her out, but she’s having none of it."
She added: "We have high hopes that these two lion hearts will not give one another a 'frosty’ reception when they eventually meet!
"This is a great opportunity to enhance the lives of both animals while helping us to highlight increasingly urgent conservation issues for the species."
White lions are a rare genetic variation of the tawny African lion and have a much paler, shortbread to almost white coloured coat, and eyes which are usually a green or blue colour rather than the usual hazel, and there are only two other places in the UK where people can see them.
Charlotte added: " The zoo team are very excited to be receiving Frosty and are extremely grateful to Red Funnel for transporting her across the Solent.
"Visitors to our zoo will be able to see Frosty and Casper from this half-term onwards."
*Charlotte said today (Friday): "Frosty is now out of her travelling crate and is settling in and we plan to let her out into the main area later today."
Frosty, the white lioness, who arrived at Isle of Wight Zoo today.