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Zootopia

Israel-UAE deal sparks online zoomance, plans for a lion cub play date

Jerusalem Biblical Zoo reaches out with a friendship request to the Al Ain Zoo in Abu Dhabi, trades language tips and the cutest animal pics

An lioness seen with her 6-weeks-old Asiatic lion cubs, at the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo in Jerusalem on May 6, 2020. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
An lioness seen with her 6-weeks-old Asiatic lion cubs, at the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo in Jerusalem on May 6, 2020. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Israelis and Emiratis aren’t waiting for their governments to formally sign a deal normalizing relations and are already making new friendships, for themselves and their lion cubs.

The latest sign that the peace deal, announced last week, could be Israel’s warmest yet with an Arab country came on Monday when the Tisch Family Zoological Gardens in Jerusalem, popularly known as the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo, sparked up an online romance with Abu Dhabi’s Al Ain Zoo.

“Can’t wait to become friends!!” the Jerusalem zoo tweeted at Al Ain, which promptly responded with: “Always together towards wildlife conservation. By the way, How do we write “Al Ain Zoo” in Hebrew.”

After a quick Hebrew lesson, the biblical zoo sent a picture of their new Asiatic lion cubs: “Wish we could have a lion cub play-date!!”

Not to be outdone, Al Ain sent back a gif of Shaqra, one of their cubs.

“Our curious Shaqra, which means blonde, says Hi,” they tweeted.

“We definitely will love to have you at #AlAinSafari, the world’s Largest man-made safari,” the zoo said, sending out an invitation.

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