The arrival of lions from Sakkarbaug Zoo as part of the animal exchange program will initiate the breeding of purebred Asiatic lions at the Vandalur facility.
The competent authorities said that the lion pair was brought mainly to create a new gene pool. The Vandalur Zoo, which will also get a lioness from Lucknow, will now have 11 lions. She currently has four males and four females, all crossbreeds.
Director of the zoo Srinivas R Reddy, who is also the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, said that the last lion cub born in the park was in 2016, but it was not a purebred Asiatic lion. A senior official said the last purebred Asiatic lion at the zoo died of old age more than 15 years ago.
The management obtained permission from the Central Zoo Authority of India (CZAI), required for any animal exchange, to receive purebred Asiatic lions by giving a pair of white tigers. The lions from Junagadh are expected to arrive before the end of this month.