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Hai Bar Nature Reserve
Hai Bar Nature Reserve Review
The Hai Bar Nature Reserve makes a good day trip from Eilat and can be combined with a visit to the Timna Park. The reserve consists of a 12-square-km (4½-square-mi) natural habitat for biblical-era animals and birds and the Predator Center. The reserve was created not only as a refuge for animals that were almost extinct in the region but also as a breeding ground for animals set free in the Negev. Opened to the public in 1977, the area re-creates the ancient savanna landscape of acacia groves and includes a salt marsh. Roaming around are stripe-legged wild asses, addaxes, gazelles and ibex, the Arabian oryx (antelope), and other desert herbivores. Ostriches come prancing over, ready to stick their heads into your car windows. Try to be here in the morning, when the animals are most active. You need a car and a CD player if you want a "guided tour"; you rent the CD for a few shekels and off you go. It takes about 45 minutes.
The 20-square-km (7¾-square-mi) Predators Center houses local birds and beasts of prey: foxes, wolves, spotted leopards, and striped hyenas. As you watch the hyena, notice that its front legs are stronger than its rear legs, enabling it to carry heavy prey a long distance. The birds of prey hang out in gigantic cages, where you'll see, among other species, the only lappet-face vultures left in Israel, with average wingspans of about 10 feet. In the pitch-black Nightlife Room, watch nocturnal animals that are active when we sleep: owls, desert hedgehogs, scorpions, and Egyptian fruit bats.
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