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Day of the Jackal: Lockdown quiet brings out wild animals in Tel Aviv

Each spring, Tel Aviv's Hayarkon Park comes alive with joggers, children playing and young families and twenty-somethings picnicking and sunbathing.

These days, virtually the only sign of life is the jackals.

With Tel Aviv in lockdown due to the coronavirus crisis, the sprawling park is all but empty. This has cleared the way for packs of jackals to take over this urban oasis.

The animals arrive just before nightfall.

While they may look like they're having fun lying in the grass and chasing after one another, Zvi Galin, director of the city's veterinary department, says they are desperately looking for food.

He says the jackals are scavengers that live on the edges of the park and normally subsist on food scraps left behind by humans. When the park is empty, the jackals have moved out into the open as they search for food.

"They don't have food, so they are coming a little bit earlier and they are going for some long distance to look for food," Galin explains.

Galin estimates that about 100 jackals live in Hayarkon Park. He says they are afraid of people and tend to keep their distance.

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