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 Animals  Israel Project #19202

Save Israel's Birds of Prey

by The Tisch Family Zoological Gardens, the Biblical Zoo in Jerusalem
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Save Israel's Birds of Prey
Save Israel's Birds of Prey
Save Israel's Birds of Prey
Save Israel's Birds of Prey
Save Israel's Birds of Prey
Save Israel's Birds of Prey
Save Israel's Birds of Prey
Save Israel's Birds of Prey
Save Israel's Birds of Prey
Save Israel's Birds of Prey
Save Israel's Birds of Prey
Save Israel's Birds of Prey
Save Israel's Birds of Prey
Save Israel's Birds of Prey
Save Israel's Birds of Prey
Save Israel's Birds of Prey
Save Israel's Birds of Prey
Save Israel's Birds of Prey
Save Israel's Birds of Prey
Save Israel's Birds of Prey
Save Israel's Birds of Prey
Save Israel's Birds of Prey
Save Israel's Birds of Prey
Save Israel's Birds of Prey
Save Israel's Birds of Prey
Eagle Owl with Chief Keeper, Shahar
Eagle Owl with Chief Keeper, Shahar

After nearly two months of closure due to the covid-19 virus restrictions, the Zoo re-opened in mid-May under certain restrictions.

Special precautions have been put in place to protect both visitors and staff alike: face masks are mandatory at all times; special disinfection of handrails, public restrooms and other areas; closure of water fountains, indoor exhibits and exhibits with crawling tunnels (such as the prairie dogs).

Additionally, the Zoo has added a number of special stations for hand washing and water-bottle filling with non-touch, infra-red technology.

 In the Birds of Prey department, the hatching season has gone on as usual. This year we managed to have 10 successful hatchings of griffon vulture eggs. The chicks have survived and all have been adopted by couples in the aviary at the Zoo or in the National Parks in  the north.

This year we do not have any chicks being hand fed behind the scenes at the Zoo.

In the Red Kestrel exhibit, it was decided not the physically remove the eggs this year and transfer them to the National Center for Raptor Egg Incubation. The eggs in the Exhibit unfortunately did not have any successful hatchings.

I have added some pictures of a beautiful eagle owl who was brought injured to the Zoo, treated in our clinic and then transferred for release back into the wild by the Israel Parks and Nature Authority. Pictured is Shahar Kara, the Zoo's Chief Keeper.

Stay safe and healthy, 

 Rachael and the Bird Team

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At the end of the 2019, the Zoo's Avian Department conducted annual tests in the Birds of Prey Aviary in preparation for the breeding season.

Tests included vaccinations, weighing and measurements and the taking of blood samples and involved the assistance of the entire avian and veterinary teams.

The good news is that already the National Center for Raptor Egg Incubation at the Zoo has already nine Griffon Vulture eggs in its incubators with the first one expected to hatch in March.

Established in 1998, the Center aims to increase breeding capabilities by ensuring optimal results. During the nesting season, eggs are collected from our Birds of Prey Aviary and from other breeding centers  for incubation.

Hatched chicks are reared by foster parent pairs at the Zoo’s Birds of Prey Exhibit and at other facilities or hand-reared (using a vulture-like puppet to prevent imprinting) until fledging age, at which time they are moved to acclimatization enclosures at the Israel Nature and Parks Authority's Hai Bar Carmel Nature Reserve in the north and, subsequently, released to the wild.

Stay healthy!

Rachael and the Avian Team
 

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An Egyptian Vulture at the Zoo
An Egyptian Vulture at the Zoo

In addition to its successful work with the endangered Griffon Vulture population in Israel, the National Center for Raptor Egg Incubation also serves a number of other raptor conservation projects.

Eggs of species such as the Lanner Falcon, the Lesser Kestrel, Bonelli’s Eagle, the Egyptian Vulture, the White-tailed Eagle and the Lappet-faced Vulture have also been incubated at the Center.

The population of Egyptian vultures has also dwindled by nearly 70 percent, and two other impressive species, the bearded vulture and the cinereous vulture, disappeared from the wild in Israel more than two decades ago.

As with many of the animals we have at the Biblical Zoo, the Egyptian Vulture (in Hebrew: Rehum) is mentioned in the Bible as part of a list of birds not to be eaten in the book of Leviticus (11:18)

Keep Warm, 

Rachael and the Raptor Team

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Lesser Kestrel Exhibit
Lesser Kestrel Exhibit

The National Center for Raptor Egg Incubation had a busy summer.

Four Lesser Kestrels bred at the Zoo were transferred to be released at the Ramat HaNadiv Nature reserve on the southern end of Mount Carmel in Israel's north.

The Zoo’s veterinary hospital also treats and rehabilitates injured birds who remain at the Zoo and become part of our breeding core.  Breeding pairs are housed in a special exhibit designed to look like a typical house façade in the Morasha neighborhood, previously a major nesting area for Lesser Kestrels in Jerusalem (pictured).

Also on the move are four of the Griffon Vultures chicks, who hatched at the Center this past spring.

Two of them were transferred at the age of three days old to be raised by adoptive parents in the Zoo's Raptor Aviary and the other two were raised by hand in our Avian department.

Last week, at the age of three months, an age at which they already look almost like adult birds, all four were sent to the Chai Bar Nature Reserve near Haifa where they will continue in an acclimatization facility until they are one year old after which time they will be released into the wild.

Happy Fall!

Rachael and the Avian Team

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In May of this year, the Zoo was saddened to hear the news of the poisoning of eight Griffon Vultures (Gyps fulvus) in the Golan Heights in northern Israel. 

(Read more here: https://www.timesofisrael.com/eight-vultures-die-of-poisoning-in-golan-devastating-local-population/)
 
The good news is that we have just finished a successful hatching season at the National Center for Raptor Egg Incubation at the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo, where eggs from all over the country are brought to ensure the best possible outcome - a live chick.

This year,15 eggs hatched at the Zoo and 13 of the chicks survived.

They have all be placed in 'foster care' with couples at the Zoo, Chai Bar Carmel and Ramat HaNadiv.

We look forward to updating you on their progress as they begin to grow up.

Have a safe summer!

Rachael and the Avian Team

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Organization Information

The Tisch Family Zoological Gardens, the Biblical Zoo in Jerusalem

Location: Jerusalem, Israel - Israel
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @BiblicalZoo
Project Leader:
Nicole Wexler
Jerusalem, Israel
$3,909 raised of $10,000 goal
 
66 donations
$6,091 to go
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