With the increased range of rockets fired by Hamas and Islamic Jihad from the Gaza Strip, Israel’s major population centers in the center of the country are firmly within their reach.
Just this morning, several rockets were intercepted over Tel Aviv by Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system; yesterday, rockets were fired as far north as the port city of Haifa – the furthest Gaza terrorists have ever been able to reach. And it’s not just millions of people at risk.
A remarkable video from the Safari zoo in the city of Ramat Gan, which borders Tel Aviv, shows how animals, too are being forced to cope with the onslaught.
In the footage, a herd of elephants can be seen reacting to air raid sirens by quickly forming a tight unit around their young.
The scene was captured by zookeeper Sagit Horovitz, who said she chose to stay behind – in a safe place -as people rushed to find shelter.
She said that although the elephants obviously did not know what was going on, they sensed that something was amiss.
“First of all, they sensed something they are not familiar with – a noise which they do not usually hear… and then they hear the very loud ‘boom’… Their instinct is to come together and protect the herd.”
“What was beautiful to see was that this was done without any regard for ‘social status’ within the group,” she pointed out.
“You can see that there is one elephant that is standing a bit further away from the others at the beginning, but she moves towards the rest and they all accept her, despite the fact that in general she is a bit of an outsider and doesn’t involve herself with the others.
“It’s as if in a time of crisis… it’s like neighbors in the same building; everyone gets together in the bomb shelter even if they are not best friends. Something unites during difficult times,” Horovitz said.
“The most heartwarming aspect of it was that they gathered together in a way that specifically protects the calves. Of course they don’t actually understand what is going on – but they know something not quite right is happening and their instinct is to gather together and protect each other, and more than anything to protect their children.”