New lion for Jerusalem Biblical Zoo
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New lion for Jerusalem Biblical Zoo

JERUSALEM (JTA) — The Jerusalem Biblical Zoo is welcoming a new male lion from Sweden.

Gir, a 2-year-old rare Asiatic lion, was scheduled to arrive Thursday night. He replaces Lider, a 16-year-old Asiatic lion who was put to sleep last summer.

Gir will join lioness Ileniya, 16, though the two lions will be kept apart at first, the Times of Israel reported.

The zoo already is searching for a mate for Gir in the hopes that they will breed.

Asiatic lions are an endangered species and in danger of extinction. Some 300 are left roaming free in a sanctuary in India, with another 330 left in captivity.