A Close Look at an Ibex

Today we left our dig lodgings and headed into Jerusalem to pick up a rental car.

We will be traveling in Israel from Dan to Beersheba during the rest of our trip.

After we picked up our car we headed to the Ein Gedi Nature Reserve. We then hiked up to the waterfalls of Ein Gedi.

Ein Gedi, Waterfall, Wildlife preserve, Pools of Ein GediHere I am under one of the waterfalls washing off the dirt of Lachish. The water was a bit cold, but it felt so good.

Ein Gedi, Waterfalls, Pools of Ein GediHere Luke is also getting wet under the waterfall. You can see the force of the water as it goes over the falls. The pools are very shallow, whereas in the past they were deep enough to float in or even swim.

We were a bit disappointed that we didn’t see any wildlife during out hike to the pools.

We then headed to Masada where we had lunch and toured the site.

Nubian Ibex, Ibex, Capra nubiana, wild goat, masada

Just as we were leaving we spotted an ibex on the way to the parking area.

This is a Nubian Ibex (Capra nubiana).

Nubian Ibex, Ibex, Capra nubiana, wild goat, masada

The Nubian Ibex is a wild goat. There are several ways that they differ from the sheep family.

The first is the presence of a beard on the males.

Ibex scent glands

Wild goats also have scent glands under the eye. You can see here that they have beautiful eyes.

Nubian Ibex, Ibex, Capra nubiana, wild goat, masadaThe wild goats also have a hairless callus on the knee.

Nubian Ibex, Ibex, Capra nubiana, wild goat, masadaBecause of the beard we could tell that this ibex was male, but there are other ways to tell also. Here are two of them: The male has a dark brown stripe down the back and has long sweeping horns that can be a meter in length. The female also has horns, but they are only about a foot long.

After visiting Masada we drove to Arad where we are staying tonight. Tomorrow we will visit Tel Arad before heading toward the Mediterranean Sea.


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5 Responses to A Close Look at an Ibex

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