Saturday, January 5, 2013

Six Persian fallow deer reintroduced in the Jerusalem Hills


These are Persian fallow deer at Jerusalem's Biblical Zoo in photos I took last February.
Enlarge the photos and enjoy.

Just last week six of these animals made big news in Israel.
Six yachmurot, female fallow deer, were released into nature--right here near us in the Jerusalem Hills, in a nature reserve in the Soreq Valley! 

The breeding and return to nature program of this once almost extinct breed  has been going on for quite some years.
But it was halted over the last three years because of the increasing danger to the deer from packs of hungry feral dogs.
Because the number of now-wild dogs grew, along with the danger of rabies, it was recently decided to once again allow official rangers to shoot such dogs in parks and reserves.
 (See details in Haaretz.)
[If the article is behind a paywall you can do a simple registration for ten free articles per month at .]

You can read more by enlarging this Zoo information sign.
Or see Zoo articles here and here
What I heard yesterday in a radio interview with Zoo director Shai Doron:
The six deer were tranquilized for the 20-minute drive from the zoo to their new home.
Each doe got a radio-telemetry transmitter collar so they can be tracked and monitored.
At Shmurat Hasoreq the cage was opened and they staggered out.
At the beginning they live in a big acclimation enclosure and when they have gotten used to the Mediterranean Woodland surroundings, they are set free.
Except--the first night one of the does managed to jump over the 2-meter high fence.
They found her dead the next morning, with no signs of having been attacked.
I wish them luck.  How I would love to be hiking in my beloved Jerusalem Hills and one day see a wild deer!
To learn how the first four Persian fallow deer were flown out of Iran just in time, see in the Wall Street Journal 
"How Bambi Met James Bond to Save Israel's 'Extinct' Deer --
It Took Cloak-and-Dagger Effort to Return Creatures From Iran to Biblical Home"

(A post for Camera-Critters)


Petrea Burchard said...

It's wonderful for the deer. Not so great for the dogs. Coming across a deer in the wild is a heart-stopping thing.

Dina said...

Petrea, true. I hope the reintroduction of this law (better regulated this time) will make dog owners think twice before they "release their dogs into nature" or before they even buy a dog.
Feral dogs with collars will not be culled.
I am not afraid of meeting the jackals on my solo hikes in the Hills but I would be scared to meet a pack of wild dogs.
It is bad enough walking through my own village when some of the big guard dogs get out of their yards and run at me in the street. Oi!

VP said...

I am sure they are spies...

Dina said...

VP, LOL! Oh, you mean with such collars attached? Never thought of that! Well, you know how the Mideast is full of plots.

Kay said...

How scary for the deer knowing there are feral dogs around. I didn't even know feral dogs were that dangerous. We don't have any on the loose here.

Petrea Burchard said...

Yes, wild dogs can be dangerous. It's terrible that people dump them, and it's natural for canines to seek a pack. Is there a culture of animal rescue in Jerusalem? A place to take a dog that will take it in a and find it a new home?

Dina said...

Kay, lucky Hawaii.

Petrea, yes, we have animal shelters. I see these in Jerusalem:

I have to read up on them.

Lavender Cottage said...

So nice to see a species at risk being reintroduced. I do hope the released deer can increase them numbers so you can realize your dream of seeing them run free while taking a walk some time.

Hels said...

My name is Ayala = deer. To my unbiased mind, they are the most beautiful creatures :)

richies said...

It is always great to hear of a species getting a new lease on life.

An Arkies Musings

L. D. Burgus said...

Great story. I hope they succeed in keeping them.

Kalantikan said...

Happy New Year! I hope they will be acclimatized and adjust soonest. But i am worried about the dogs, i wonder why they got wild there, where did they come from. We have dogs since we were kids and i know they are so scared of loud sounds like during New Year! I wonder if some of them are pets that got so scared when they hear bombs! I am so sorry for them more than the deer!

Jidhu Jose said...

they looks nice


Mark said...

Good luck to the deer, I hope they flourish.

Spiderdama said...

How nice! They are wonderful.
We have a lot of them, I saw someone today:-)

Pat said...

I hope that the deer can be successfully reintroduced to the area.

Genie Robinson said...

Happy deer....not so happy wild dogs. Such an interesting post. I did not know about these deer. genie