Friday, September 6, 2013

The new Zoo in Jerusalem

Zoo’s throughout the world serve three main purposes: conservation of animals, education and recreation. As far as animals and nature conservation is concerned, these activities are coordinated with those of the national and international organisations which work to preserve wild-life threatened with extinction and return them to nature.
The new Zoo in Jerusalem. The new zoo in Jerusalem is situated in Manahat Park, in an area south-west of the city, a special landscape in an open, hilly area. The zoo was built according to the latest thinking on zoos, which places emphasis on the quality of the conditions for the animals.
The mini sheet of Israeli stamps on this First Day Cover postmarked 17.9.1992 shows four of the prominent animals in the New Zoo. They are:

The Asian Lion which is a sub-species, different from the African Lion. It is known for its great mane which reaches right down to its under-belly. Hunting is done together in the pride, mainly by the females. They eat about 25kg of meat at a time and doze most of the day. The Asian Lion lives only in the forests of North West India and is in real danger of extinction - today there are only a few hundred left. In the past, this lion could be found in Israel, but became extinct here in the 12th century.
The Persian Leopard is similar to the Galilee sub-species which became extinct in 1965, but is different from the sub-species found today in Israel. It is active mainly at night, is an excellent climber and swimmer, and catches its prey by lying in wait and ambushing it. It mainly eats on the high branches of trees so as to avoid having to share its meal with other predators.
The Chimpanzee These social and intelligent apes can be seen in the zoo in a natural setting. Aggression and submission, care and rearing of young can all be seen in the group. As in the wild, chimpanzees also use tools to extract honey from specially drilled holes in logs the keepers have prepared for them. Captive breeding groups of chimpanzees in zoos are important in conserving this species which is becoming rare in nature.
The Asian Elephant Elephants are the largest of land mammals. Their huge size requires enormous amounts of food and water. A 4 1/2 ton elephant needs 200 kg food and 150 litres water daily. Because of their needs, they are among the first to suffer as man consumes the forests and grasslands of Africa and Asia. Both African and Asian elephants are fully protected by international law, and trade in ivory is strictly forbidden. Asian elephants are still used as working animals today. These highly intelligent animals can learn up to 100 commands. Breeding elephants is rare in captivity.  
Thank you Merja for this fantastic FDC.

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