'Help, don't hunt'

Ickey Green, spokeswoman for Hakol Chai, Israel's largest animal rights group, told The Jerusalem Post that her organization "is against all forms of hunting. Often, an animal is not killed outright and is left to suffer and die." When asked about the agricultural damage caused by boar and other wild animals, Green said that animals only raid crops and gardens because they cannot find enough to eat in the wild, and argued that capturing boars alive and releasing them in areas where they can find enough food is the best solution. The question is, in the country's overcrowded landscape, what natural areas are left for them? Another charity, Chai, based in Alexandria, Virginia, helps fund educational programs on concern for animals in Israeli schools and provides equipment, such as the first animal ambulance, as well as field equipment for helping sick and injured animals. Chai director Nina Natelson says that wild areas must be set aside for the boars and other wild animals. As for hunting in general: "Humans have not allowed other species to have their habitats, resulting in their having to compete with man." Humans, she says, "must restrain their greed. We are not the only species on this planet, and if we continue as we have been, then not only Israel but the entire planet is in serious trouble." Turning from moral questions to practical ones, Natelson suggests controlling the number of wild boars by sterilizing selected animals and making efforts to contain them in specific areas. She give examples of what happens when some animal species are killed - such as wolves in the US's Yellowstone Park, resulting in overpopulation of elk and deer, which ate all available vegetation, including young trees. "Farmers can do their part by making a greater effort to fence off their crops, installing devices to scare off the animals when they come to feed," she points out.