HIGH HILLS AND WILD GOATS: Life Among the Animals of the Hai-Bar Wildlife Refuge by Bill Clark

HIGH HILLS AND WILD GOATS: Life Among the Animals of the Hai-Bar Wildlife Refuge

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Deep in Israel's Negev Desert, near the Jordanian border, lies the Hai-Bar Arava National Wildlife Reserve, a large animal sanctuary with a special role--the protection (and ultimate reintroduction to the wild) of highly endangered biblical desert animals. American-born Clark, chief curator of Hai-Bar from 1980 to 1982, here judiciously intermixes observations about conservation, ecological balance, and Middle East politics with Witty, moving, and colorful tales about his animal charges. As with all wildlife caretaking, the daily routine at Hai-Bar is often anything but routine. In addition to the feeding of some 300-plus animals, Clark's work takes on many dimensions: from confronting an ornery 180-pound male ibex in need of hoof-clipping, and helping a troop of Israeli soldiers shoo a herd of renegade camels back to their rightful home across the border, to hand-feeding a poisoned snake eagle, raising two orphaned infant ibexes (in cribs, in his own home), and refamiliarizing a group of highly endangered white oryx and a herd of onagers (wild asses) to the ways of the wild. The return of native wildlife to its ancient homelands is to Israel a matter of utmost priority, we learn. Clark's dedication to that task is admirable, and his reflections on the magnitude of that task most engaging.

Pub Date: Jan. 25th, 1989
Publisher: Little, Brown