A 22-year-old Jerusalem resident was arrested Thursday morning on suspicion of attempting to hunt gazelles in the city's Gazelle Valley reserve.
The suspect was arrested in the valley with a gun in his possession after police received reports of gunfire in the area, and confessed during questioning. No gazelles were found injured from the gunfire.
This is the first time a suspect was arrested for hunting since the park, considered to be the most important urban nature site in the country, opened in 2015.
- In Israel, Mountain Gazelles Are in Danger From All Sides
- Comeback Kids: Persian Fallow Deer Reestablish Themselves in Israel's North
- Wild Animals in Israel Will Return to Worse Reality Than Before Pandemic
Over 65 gazelles of all ages live in the park, which is situated between Jerusalem's Katamon and Givat Mordechai neighborhoods. It was established after a battle waged by residents, environmentalists, archaeologists and the municipality on one side and developers planning a new neighborhood at the location on the other.
When the reserve opened, it was home to just three gazelles – their population had whittled down by speeding vehicles and preying dogs, jackals and foxes wandering through the area.
The park put up fences, and a breeding and rehabilitation program helped the herd multiply. The Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel believes that the gazelle population can grow further.