March 18, 2016 / 1:40 AM / 3 years ago

New lion enclosure at London Zoo gets royal opening

London - Britain’s Queen Elizabeth opened a new enclosure at London Zoo on Thursday that four Asiatic lions, one male and three females, will call home.

The enclosure, the largest ever at the zoo, will help to conserve the dwindling population of Asiatic lions. There are only about 500 Asiatic lions left in the wild. The subspecies  is found in India’s Gujarat state. The new enclosure is designed to recreate a habitat similar to their natural environment.

“The population is doing really well, but they are very vulnerable to any disease, natural disaster,” said Teague Stubbington, deputy team leader for mammals at the zoo.

He added that it is very important to have a captive population in case anything goes wrong in the wild.

The “Land of the Lions” opens to the public on March 25.

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