Jerusalem’s Biblical Zoo on Thursday announced the arrival of two Asiatic lions from European zoos to join its collection.
The two lionesses were acquired from the zoos in Magdeburg, Germany and Prague, Czech Republic. The elder, from Prague, is 13-years-old and the younger German lioness is a year-and-a-half-old. The zoo didn’t disclose the names of its new additions.
“They are both acclimating behind the scenes and will soon slowly get used to their new home and come outside into their courtyard,” the Biblical Zoo said on Facebook. “We will provide ongoing updates.”
The two females will accompany the current resident male Asiatic lion, Ziv, who was imported from Sweden earlier this year.
Lider, a 16-year-old Asiatic lion, was put to sleep last year after veterinarians and keepers decided that his difficulties in walking and standing, brought on by chronic back pain, were insufferable. The zoo has since sought to bring additional big cats to the park to replace him.
Asian lions were once indigenous to Israel and the Middle East, but now a mere 359 or so animals exist in the wild in the Gir Forest of India, according to a local conservation group. Another 200 Asiatic lions live in zoos worldwide.