For Deer in the Golan Heights, Israel's Stormy Weather Is a 'Dream Come True'

Moshav Odem in the northern Golan Heights has an equal number of residents and reindeer, which were brought from Scotland, making them adaptable to the country's recent cold wave

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A deer in the snow at Moshav Odem.
A deer in the snow at Moshav Odem.Credit: Gil Eliyahu
Moshe Gilad
Moshe Gilad
Moshe Gilad
Moshe Gilad

Moshav Odem, which lies in the heart of a forest in the northern Golan Heights, is the home to some 60 families, comprising about 100 people. 

It is also home to about 100 deer. 

The deer live in the Deer Forest, a visitor site and campground at the southern edge of Odem.

Moshe Amitay, the owner of the canpground, says that most of the deer were brought from Scotland and the winter weather in the northern Golan Heights is "a dream come true for them."

Deer at Moshav Odem.
Deer at Moshav Odem.Credit: Gil Eliyahu

“We have hog deer, spotted deer and red deer. The males are known for their enormous horns, which they shed every year and then grow new ones. When people visit us, they realize the difference between deer and gazelles and ibex. We get three or four snowfalls every winter and these are the most fun days here,” Amitay says.

Haaretz photographer Gil Eliyahu visited Deer Forest on Saturday to snap some shots of the animals: “I got there at 2 P.M. in thick fog.The snow was 20 centimeters high, and a cloud rested on the mountain and the forest. It was hard to see the animals until the moment I stood right next to them.”

A deer in Moshav Odem.
A deer in Moshav Odem.Credit: Gil Eliyahu
Deer at Moshav Odem.
Deer at Moshav Odem.Credit: Gil Eliyahu
Deer at Moshav Odem.
Deer at Moshav Odem.Credit: GIl Eliyahu
Deer at Moshav Odem.
Deer at Moshav Odem.Credit: Gil Eliyahu

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