With Israelis in Coronavirus Isolation, Jackals Are Taking Over Tel Aviv’s Main Park

Since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, most Israelis are confined to their homes and the country’s parks and beaches have been closed. A great opportunity for some

Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Jackals in Tel Aviv's Hayarkon park, this week.
Jackals in Tel Aviv's Hayarkon park, this week.Credit: Ofer Vaknin
Moshe Gilad
Ofer Vaknin
Moshe Gilad
Ofer Vaknin

In an episode of the History Channel’s futuristic documentary series “Life After People,” a large lion with a beautiful mane is seen roaming in Washington on the White House lawn. The narrator explains that wild animals have quickly taken over major cities. Haaretz photographer Ofer Vaknin’s photos of jackals, which he took in Tel Aviv’s Hayarkon Park this week, are reminiscent of that series, but the joy – or panic – over their takeover is a bit premature and very much blown out of proportion.

Credit: Ofer Vaknin
Credit: Ofer Vaknin
A jackal in Tel Aviv's Hayarkon park, this week.Credit: Ofer Vaknin
Credit: Ofer Vaknin
Credit: Ofer Vaknin

Roughly 10 families of jackals have been living in Hayarkon Park for the past decade. They reached the area of the park known as Sheva Tahanot (Seven Mills) from further east along the Yarkon River in search of food and have acclimated to living around people. Until recently, scraps of food in the park were plentiful, left behind by visitors from their barbecuing.

But since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, most Israelis are confined to their homes and the country’s parks and beaches have been closed. Recent reports attest to the fact that Yarkon Park’s jackals have taken to the trails in the park with greater confidence, but they may also be worrying about where everyone has gone with their food.

A woman runs past a group of jackals at Tel Aviv's Hayarkon park this week. Roughly 10 families of jackals have been living in Hayarkon Park for the past decade.Credit: Ofer Vaknin
Credit: Ofer Vaknin
Credit: Ofer Vaknin
Credit: Ofer Vaknin

COVID-19 in Israel
Cases New Cases Deaths
New Cases Per Day
Worldwide
Cases
New cases
Deaths
New deaths
Cases New Cases Deaths
Coronavirus - full stats

Speaking to Haaretz, Prof. Yoram Yom-Tov, who is a zoologist, said he didn’t think the situation in the park has changed in a major way. “The animals see it as an opportunity and are going to places that look better to them for finding food. During the current season, we can assume that there are also newborn pups, and that the demand for food has been increasing,” he noted.

So the world has apparently not parted with humankind, and Yarkon Park is still not a wild savanna, but the photos are still amazing.

Credit: Ofer Vaknin
Credit: Ofer Vaknin
Credit: Ofer Vaknin
Credit: Ofer Vaknin
Credit: Ofer Vaknin

Click the alert icon to follow topics:

SUBSCRIBERS JOIN THE CONVERSATION FASTER

Automatic approval of subscriber comments.
From $1 for the first month

SUBSCRIBE
Already signed up? LOG IN

ICYMI

The Orion nebula, photographed in 2009 by the Spitzer Telescope.

What if the Big Bang Never Actually Happened?

Relatives mourn during the funeral of four teenage Palestinians from the Nijm family killed by an errant rocket in Jabalya in the northern Gaza Strip, August 7.

Why Palestinian Islamic Jihad Rockets Kill So Many Palestinians

בן גוריון

'Strangers in My House': Letters Expelled Palestinian Sent Ben-Gurion in 1948, Revealed

AIPAC

AIPAC vs. American Jews: The Toxic Victories of the 'pro-Israel' Lobby

Bosnian Foreign Minister Bisera Turkovic speaks during a press conference in Sarajevo, Bosnia in May.

‘This Is Crazy’: Israeli Embassy Memo Stirs Political Storm in the Balkans

Hamas militants take part in a military parade in Gaza.

Israel Rewards Hamas for Its Restraint During Gaza Op