Awaiting release from the acclimatization area
Dear Persian Fallow Deer Supporters,
After having been so excited by our latest release of 8 deer from the acclimatization center into the wild (following a resolution of the technical problems we had with the GPS tracking collars), we were devastated to once more discover that 5 deer had died relatively soon after having been released. Initial indications are that packs of feral dogs are once again hunting the deer.
You may recall that some years ago, this conservation program was halted because of a high mortality rate due to feral dogs in the area. Feral dogs are domesticated stray dogs who, after abandonment, group together and revert to pack behavior. They can be extremely dangerous both in terms of attacks on animals and humans, and because they can spread disease. The program was resumed once the Ministry of Environment gave Israel Nature and Parks Authority rangers the power to destroy feral dogs on sight however it appears that the problem has once again resurfaced in the Jerusalem hills.
In light of this, further releases have been halted for now until we can investigate further in conjunction with the Israeli authorities. We will keep you posted. Wildlife conservation is a challenging pursuit but, with your support, we have high hopes for continued success.
With thanks and appreciation,
Team Fallow Deer at the Jerusalem Zoo
Remains of a deer hunted by feral dogs
GPS tracking map of released deer