Bringing Biblical Deer to the Holy Land

 
$1,794
$8,206
Raised
Remaining
Jul 28, 2014

The Jerusalem hills are alive with Persian Fallow Deer

A released female Persian Fallow Deer
A released female Persian Fallow Deer

Thanks to our awesome supporters, the Jerusalem hills are once more home to the Biblical Persian Fallow Deer – a species that has been revived from near extinction (only 25 individuals were left in the world in 1956).

The reintroduction of the Persian Fallow Deer into the Nahal Soreq Valley in the Jerusalem Hills has faced some tough challenges over the last few years – because of train accidents and marauding packs of feral dogs (stray dogs that revert to pack behavior, causing a danger to wildlife and to people), the first groups of deer released suffered a mortality rate of 50%. However, Israel’s Ministry of the Environment has now taken measures to deal with the feral dog problem and we are delighted to report the following successes for 2014:

  • A total of 32 individuals (16 males and 16 females) have been released into the wild at Nahal Soreq since the start of 2014.
  • Of those released, we know from our tracking data that we have lost only 1 female this year – a great improvement in survival rate.
  • From the data gathered by our staff, together with sightings reported by members of the public, we know that the Jerusalem hills are now home to some 50 adult deer and 20 of their offspring. That means that 20 Persian Fallow Deer have been born in the wild over the last year alone!

To ensure a transition that causes as little stress to the animals as possible, the deer are tranquilized using a dart gun that is fired from a distance. From the time they are tranquilized for transportation, their vital signs are monitored by a team of vets and keepers.

Protecting and enriching this natural habitat benefits not only the Persian Fallow Deer, but also many other endemic species like jackals, wolves, wild boar, and porcupines to name only a few.

Thank you all so much for being a part of this inspiring conservation project. We look forward to reporting continued success in the future.

Warm Regards,

The Jerusalem Biblical Zoo Team

Entrance to the Nahal Soreq Nature Reserve
Entrance to the Nahal Soreq Nature Reserve
The beautiful Jerusalem hills and valleys
The beautiful Jerusalem hills and valleys
Deer are tranquilized humanely using a dart gun
Deer are tranquilized humanely using a dart gun
A magnificent male deer roams free
A magnificent male deer roams free

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Map of Bringing Biblical Deer to the Holy Land