“Knowest thou the time when the wild goats [ibex] of the rock bring forth? Or canst thou mark when the hinds do calve?” Job 39, verse 1
Interesting To Know
The Nubian ibex is the only type in its family which can live in extreme desert conditions. Throughout the year, the female and its young, along with the young yet maturing males, live within the flock of 10 to 20 individuals. Interesting behavior has been observed among the flock of ibex in the Avdat Nature Park in the Negev region, where the flock’s young were gathered to a cliff with no option to leave the location. The females would periodically come to feed them. Only once the young matured were they allowed to leave this “nursery” area. This social behavior was intended to protect the young in a group against attack by leopards, wolves, and other predators. The auditor from the local nature reserve is able to approach the ibex and observe them, since they are accustomed to being near humans.
In the beginning years of the State of Israel, the Nubian ibex was widely hunted until the establishment of the Nature Conservation Authority (today called the Israel Nature and Parks Authority), which developed legislation to protect animals from hunters. The Authority even chose the ibex as its logo. Since then, the ibex have increased in number, mainly due to the disappearance of its main predator, the leopard.