Wednesday, October 09, 2013

The Gulf News has the details:

A small mammal at risk of extinction might seem an unusual source of stress for humans, but an influx of rock hyrax on Palestinian farms near the Israeli segregation wall is creating an added burden for famers in the area.

The uncharacteristically wide and dense spread of this omnivorous animal has caused farmers heavy losses as the animals eat all available vegetation.

Palestinian farmers have alleged that Israeli colonists have released a large numbers of rock hyrax behind the Israeli wall with the aim of harming Palestinian land.

The affected farmers claim it has taken them great efforts to learn the animal’s name and that they have been unable to handle the influx.

Hassan Zaid, a Palestinian farmer, said that the animal locally named “Al Wabar Al Sakhri” eats both green and dried grass and trees leaving the farmers with serious losses.

“The animal does not leave anything thing behind and our lands have been destroyed.”

Zaid said that the animal lives between rocks and has taken to using holes in the Palestinian side of the Israeli wall as shelter.
That last part may be true; rock hyraxes like to live in small holes or cracks of walls and cliffs. It even says so in Proverbs 30:26: The rock-badgers are but a feeble folk, yet make they their houses in the crags

Gulf News didn't bother to see if the animal (which does not appear to be endangered) is bothering Jews as well. Not surprisingly, it is:
Israel's hyraxes are cute, furry and have a characteristic chirping song. But they are becoming a serious pest.

The animals, also known as rock rabbits, have moved into residential areas of Galilee and have been destroying people's gardens.

Scientists have now discovered why: hyraxes love to make their homes in the debris from building sites.

Researchers from the University of Haifa published these findings in the journal Wildlife Research.

"They're coming into the villages and eating everything they can find," said Mr Kershenbaum.

To find out more about their behaviour, he and his colleagues observed the movements of groups of the animals. They also attached radio collars to a group of hyraxes in order to track and follow them.

"It turns out that it's the piles of boulders [created by clearing sites for building] that attract the hyraxes," said Mr Kershenbaum.

They make their homes in the underground caverns and crevices created by these man-made rubble piles.
Once on the topic, Gulf News must mention the Zionist pigs as well:
Palestinians, farmers and officials have also been accusing the Israelis, mainly the colonists, of releasing a large number of wild pigs into the Palestinian territories to destroy the farms.

The release of those animals has caused the deaths of at least three Palestinian farmers and injury to several others after wild pigs attacked people in their farms. The wild pigs also cause major destruction of cultivated lands.
(h/t the fantastic Hadar Sela of BBCWatch)

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