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Jerusalem's Biblical Zoo Welcomes New Baby Lions of Zion

Updated: Aug 21, 2020

Lions are extremely important in Jerusalem, as they are the symbol of the city, as the symbol of the Tribe of Judah, from which David and Solomon (and their heirs) came from (who ruled over the city for hundreds of years). We have the Lions Gate in Jerusalem (though if you look closely, they are actually leopards, which were the symbol of the Mamluk sultan Baybars). Years before I was a tour guide of Israel, I was in charge of the army tour guides of Jerusalem and we received special golden lion pins from the mayor himself. Lions are mentioned dozens of times in the Bible and lived in the land until about 200 years ago.

And now we have 2 new lions in Zion - the first ones to be born here in Jerusalem in modern times. Congratulations to Yasha and Gir (Ziv), the proud parents. One lion cub, a boy, just received his name - Aryeh - which conveniently means "lion." We are still awaiting the name of the second cub.

The lions are Asiatic lions and only 500 of them still exist in the wild - along with 200 more (make that 202) in zoos around the world.

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