A Palestinian man has called the Black Bear Lodge, an underground animal park in the southern Israeli town of Nahariya, the “black bear lodge” of Nahar.
Nahar is home to the largest concentration of Black Bears in Israel, with around 500 animals, said Natan Zwartz, head of the Nahar Black Bear Club.
In his remarks on the club’s Facebook page on Wednesday, Zwartsz said the park is the “source of all the animals and people from around the world that we rely on.”
Zwartz also said Nahar is “the only resort in Nahariyah” that offers visitors a “black bears experience.”
The Black Bear lodge was built in 1948 by the Nahariyya Black Bear Society, and was established as a refuge for animals like bears, wolves, lions and hyenas.
It was named after Nahar’s founder, Nahari Yadin.
Zwartssz did not give details on the animals at the park, but said it is located on the slopes of the Jordan Valley and provides an ideal habitat for bears, lions, leopards, bears cubs and hyena cubs.
Zariv Givony, head wolf expert at the Zoological Society of London, told The Jerusalem Report on Thursday that the park also has “black cubs” and that it’s a popular location for hyenans.
Zawartz, however, did not mention any specific species of bears at the lodge.
He also did not say how many bears the park hosts, but noted that it is home “to more than 1,000 bears, and about 1,500 hyenan cubs.”
According to Zwart, Nahar has around 300 species of wolves, ranging from the domestic cat to the wild boar.
Zzartz said that in recent years, Naharan residents have “reinforced the existence of the Black Bears Lodge.”
The park, he said, “is also home to a black bear colony, which is very important for the survival of the bears, for their cubs, for the animals in the lodge.”
Zawartsz did confirm that Nahar bears are “reptiles,” but said they are not indigenous to Nahar or to the region.
“They are domesticated in Nahar, but we do not know how or where they came from,” Zwarksz said.
Zwanitz said that Nahariyan bears are protected under Israel’s Law of Conservation of Nature.
According to the law, any animal that is killed in Naharis habitat can be released, and any animal found outside of the sanctuary can be killed.
Nahariya Black Bears Club spokesman Yehuda Shavit told The Report on Wednesday that the BlackBear Lodge is located “at the border of Naharis territories,” and that “no permits have been issued for the entrance of animals into Nahariys territory.”