Winnipeg Zoo Now Home to Pair of Asiatic Lions

A pair of Asiatic lions, similar to the one shown here, are now at the Assiniboine Park Zoo. (WILDLIFE CONSERVATION TRUST)

A new pair of twin Asiatic lions are now calling the Assiniboine Park Zoo home.

The brothers, born May 13, 2010, arrived in Winnipeg Thursday morning from the Zoologischer Garten Magdeburg in Germany.

The zoo is the only facility in North American to house such a pair of the species, which are being temporarily housed in the former outdoor bear enclosures that are now a part of the International Polar Bear Conservation Centre.

“It is very exciting for us to have an animal as rare as the Asiatic lion here at the Assiniboine Park Zoo,” said Tim Sinclair-Smith, Director of Zoological Operations. “It’s another unique feature for our visitors to see when they visit this summer.”

Bhanu, which is the Hindi word for sun, and Kamal, the Hindi word for perfection, will be under quarantine for a minimum of 30 days and will not be accessible to the public until early summer.

Asiatic lions are now a part of the European Endangered Species Programme, with only an estimated 200 to 260 still in the wild. An additional 200 Asian lions live in zoos worldwide.


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