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

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

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

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

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

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Source: JTA

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