Out of Africa, to an Israeli Wildlife Hospital

Located in the migratory path of birds and dedicated to creatures great and small, an Israeli wildlife hospital provides refuge and care for wild animals in need.

The swift that survived, the hedgehog that didn’t, the Steppe Eagle that flew in from Africa with an arrow in its flesh, and other life-and-death tales from a Ramat Gan facility that treats all creatures great and small.

The baby hedgehog, his eyes still closed but his spikes already fully out, arrived with a personal letter. “We found him near our house,” it said. “He was under some stairs, surrounded by our cats and dogs. We don’t know where his mother is. He didn’t eat for a whole day! Please take care of him and we would be happy to return him to nature.”

Ariela Rosenzwig, the Israeli veterinarian who read the letter out loud recently in the Wildlife Hospital in Ramat Gan, picked up the tiny creature. She carefully examined it and put it in her shirt pocket, for warmth. “His leg is broken,” she said, “but that’s the least of his problems. He should be in a cave with his mother; his chances of survival are low.”

Around Rosenzwig, various animals that were brought in to the only wildlife hospital in Israel were waiting their turn, all of them in cardboard boxes. There was a young falcon with wing problems and a jackdaw chick which was screaming his lungs out. On the operating table was a Steppe Eagle, which had been shot by an arrow somewhere in Africa, flew all the way to Israel and somehow found its way to the hospital, and had the arrow successfully removed from its flesh. An owl was awaiting a clean-up, and a small seagull was also in line for some treatment.

The hospital treats around 2,000 animals annually, and one day earlier this year had around 170 of them in hospitalization. “If it’s wild we accept it. Doesn’t matter if it’s a snake or a weasel, a deer or a hyena,” said Ronni, who manages the day-to-day operations in the hospital.

Read more at Times of Israel