One of the martens being transferred to its new home, photo:  Ron Elazari-Volcani

If you have happened to visit the Garden lately you will surely have noticed the construction and renovation momentum that started a few months ago. New exhibitions are being built and inhabited; animals are being moved to renovated and improved enclosures; and many enrichment devices are being installed in order to improve animal welfare.

Dr. Yuval Sapir, explaining about salt marsh vegetation in the Judean desert, near the Dead Sea

A training course for future botanists began in December 2018. The first course meeting took place in the Botanic Garden at Tel Aviv University.

Our new amphibian exhibitions are finally open. Four exhibitions have been built, two of which are already populated with eastern spadefoot toads, Levant water frogs, and European green toads.

Monstera deliciosa as seen through electron microscope photo:  Tomer Reuveni and Tamir Assa

Tomer Reuveni and Tamir Assa, students in the School of Chemistry at Tel Aviv University, have designed an experiment aimed at understanding the physics behind the term "surface tension".

Evening primrose,  Photo:  Gavri Sion

Our new research is thrilling the press around the world!

Barn owl nestlings, photo: Hadar Yosifon
  • Six barn owls eggs have hatched in our incubator. After the nestlings have grown a little they will be transferred to a new enclosure that will be built especially for them.

Don't be confused, we are still in the Zoological Garden News, but we also have some wonderful flowering!

Althaea officinalis before planting Photo:  Kineret Manevich

Several seedling of Althaea officinalis were planted this winter around the pool in the water plant collection. This species, belonging to the Malvaceae family, is a rare plant and had been considered extinct in Israel.

Ygal Miller with a Bonelli's eagle, photo: Noga Kronfeld-Schor
  • One of our animal keepers, Barak Levy, has completed a course in snake catching. The course was organized by the Israel Nature and Parks Authority and was taught by Aviad Bar and Osnat Azulay. The course took place in the Sherman building and was based on the snake collection of the Zoological Garden. At the end of the course Barak received a permit for catching snakes.
  • At the end of December we said goodbye to our Bonelli's eagles (Aquila fasciata), after the Israel Nature and Parks Authority found them a more suitable place for their needs.
The hedgehog released into the Garden, photo: Kineret Manevich

Among the bookshelves in the Library of Life Sciences and Medicine a mature hedgehog (Erinaceus concolor) was discovered. The library workers caught it and brought it to the Steinhardt Natural History Museum.

The children's birding group of The Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel, who visit the Zoological Garden and the Botanical Garden during the year,  visited the Steinhardt Museum of Natual History this winter and greatly enjoyed it.

Dr. Michael Avishai, Photo:  Ori Fragman-Sapir

In December 2018 two of Israel’s foremost botanists sadly passed away: Dr. Gad Polak and Dr. Michael Avishai, who were among the founding members of Israel’s botanical studies.

Michael and Gadi – may you both rest in peace