Persian fallow deer, wild sheep, gazelles, oryx, wild asses, and vultures – all mentioned in the Bible and all endangered species – are nurtured at the Israel Nature and Parks Authority’s Hai Bar Carmel until they can be released to the wild, wearing special radio tracking collars. Hai Bar has a visitors center with a beautiful view and an 800-yard paved trail along which you can see the animals and read signposted explanations. At the end are enclosures for the deer and the magnificent Griffon vultures.
Hai Bar Carmel covers some 6,000 dunams (1,500 acres) in the heart of Mount Carmel’s “Little Switzerland.” If we could turn back the clock, we would discover on Mount Carmel a world of living things that is different from what we see today: panthers, roe deer, nesting vulture colonies, Egyptian vultures, falcons, and may species of night owls once roamed the area.
They have all become extinct on Mount Carmel due to hunting, deforestation and poisoning.
In the 1960s, the late Uri Tzon and Gen. Avraham Yoffe established a public organization called Hai Bar, with the goal of restoring Israel’s wildlife. Indeed, at Hai Bar Carmel, not only do we protect the status quo, we work to reintroduce to the wild species that have become extinct in Israel. The process has several stages: It begins with a reproductive nucleus (encouraging the animals to reproduce), continues with acclimatization, and ends with releasing the animals to open spaces. At Hai Bar Carmel, visitors can enjoy the exciting details of this story and see Armenian wild sheep, falcons, Persian fallow deer, roe deer, vultures and other raptors.
Hai Bar offers guided tours on Saturdays (in Hebrew) at 10 A.M., noon, and 2 P.M. at no extra charge.
Open: Saturdays only: 8 A.M.-4 P.M Last entry one hour before above closing hour
To reserve mid-week visits by groups, call Nahal Me’arot Nature Reserve: 04-984-1750/2 or Carmel National Park: 04-822-8983
Length of tour: one hour
Best season: Year-round
Level of difficulty: Easy for walkers/ Partial wheelchair access
Fees Adult: NIS 22; child: NIS 10; Groups (over 30 people): Adult: NIS 19; child: NIS 8 Israeli senior citizen 50% discount
No entrance to dogs or other animals
How to get there:
Hai Bar Carmel is located 300 meters south of the entrance to the University of Haifa campus, on the Haifa-Isfiya road (no. 672) at the turnoff opposite Ha’arba‘im Grove.