Israel - 21st of April to 25th of April 2016

Israel, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Iran, Turkey, Cyprus

Re: Israel - 21st of April to 25th of April 2016

Postby Berislav Horvatic » Mon Jul 04, 2016 9:45 pm

This picture has cost me a 200 EUR fine because a few minutes after it, a ranger was passing by and well, you can imagine what came next...it is strictly forbidden to handle snakes in Israel and they indeed don't joke with this rule

It's strictly forbidden to handle snakes in many other "civilised" countries as well, including yours and mine, but
in most cases they do "joke" with this rule... or just show some human understanding for the reality, or whatever
one might call it. Sorry for your bad luck, and nothing against Israel as a state of law. The problem is, rangers
can rather easily find (and fine) the innocent fieldherpers, but it's much more difficult to find (and fine) the real
poachers. In any country - has nothing to do with the particular example.
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Re: Israel - 21st of April to 25th of April 2016

Postby Guy Haimovitch » Tue Jul 05, 2016 7:25 am

Berislav Horvatic wrote:It's strictly forbidden to handle snakes in many other "civilised" countries as well, including yours and mine, but
in most cases they do "joke" with this rule... or just show some human understanding for the reality, or whatever
one might call it. Sorry for your bad luck, and nothing against Israel as a state of law. The problem is, rangers
can rather easily find (and fine) the innocent fieldherpers, but it's much more difficult to find (and fine) the real
poachers. In any country - has nothing to do with the particular example.


Of course you are right, but comparing herping (photographing only) to poaching is like comparing pot smoking to armed robbery. Poachers are people who are armed and with serious criminal intents and the desire to perform a violent crime.

In Israel both offenses will be enforced, but while herping in the worse case will end up with a small-medium fine, poaching can get you in jail for a good amount of time or astronomical fines.

Poachers are indeed much harder to find and stop for questioning (4x4s, night vision, weapons, etc.) the authorities here do a lot in order to stop them. Hunting is not a very popular sport in Israel so it is not a major issue, but still an issue worth enforcing.
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Re: Israel - 21st of April to 25th of April 2016

Postby Aleksandar Simovic » Tue Jul 05, 2016 7:59 am

Fantastic report and photos!
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Re: Israel - 21st of April to 25th of April 2016

Postby Bastien Comment » Wed Jul 06, 2016 2:38 pm

Thanks for your feedbacks!

Ilian: it was a normal adult sized widow I would say, probably around 4 cm diameter (Yannick don't hesitate to react if you think I've misjudged its size) and the snake was probably around 25 cm long.

Jürgen: indeed it's strange. Aviad and Guy were both very surprised that they didn't even see any sign of Cerastes cerastes activity that night. And I was quite sure you would love that Daboia ;)

Berislav and Guy: to be honest, I prefer to get caught for that and know that there are people who take care of the wildlife (and especially snakes as they are often left over in comparison with other animals). But obviously, I would have preferred not to get caught for sure...

Aleksandar: it's a pity that the weather was so bad then and that we haven't been able to meet in Montenegro but at least, as you could see, it was an excellent consolation prize :D
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Re: Israel - 21st of April to 25th of April 2016

Postby Jeroen Speybroeck » Wed Jul 06, 2016 3:24 pm

Bastien Comment wrote:As usually, posting my trip reports takes some time. But still better late than never ;)

As usual, your reports are always great! ;)
Love that Telescopus...
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Re: Israel - 21st of April to 25th of April 2016

Postby Berislav Horvatic » Sat Jul 09, 2016 4:24 pm

Guy Haimovitch wrote:Poachers are people who are armed and with serious criminal intents and the desire to perform a violent crime.
.......
Poachers are indeed much harder to find and stop for questioning (4x4s, night vision, weapons, etc.) the authorities here do a lot in order to stop them. Hunting is not a very popular sport in Israel so it is not a major issue, but still an issue worth enforcing.

Well, what I meant were the people stealing herps, not the big-game hunters. The former usually have no weapons,
they're just much more skilful in avoiding being caught "red-handed" than the poor honest fieldherpers.

In Israel both offenses will be enforced, but while herping in the worse case will end up with a small-medium
fine, poaching can get you in jail for a good amount of time or astronomical fines.

Not quite sure to understand this "herping" vs."poaching" distinction. Is catching a snake to make photos, handling
it as gently as possible, and releasing it afterwards where found, a criminal offense or not? A "mild" one, or none
at all? I suspect the answer: On paper - that is, legally (in most "civilised" countries) - it IS, but what about real-life
practice...? Common sense? I'm NOT a "bad guy", and the ranger who happened to find me "red-handed" is not stupid,
so what are we to do now? We have a nice friendly chat on herps around, or I get fined with 200 EU?
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Re: Israel - 21st of April to 25th of April 2016

Postby Ruggero Morimando » Sat Jul 09, 2016 5:08 pm

Maybe I know the answer :D Short chat about snakes and 200 Euros fine!
I find Israel a rather dangerous Country for herping: highly venomous snakes, highly dangerous arachnids and very expensive chats with the policemen! :lol:
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Re: Israel - 21st of April to 25th of April 2016

Postby Ruggero Morimando » Sun Jul 10, 2016 8:18 am

Ruggero Morimando wrote:Maybe I know the answer :D Short chat about snakes and 200 Euros fine!
I find Israel a rather dangerous Country for herping: highly venomous snakes, highly dangerous arachnids and very expensive chats with the policemen! :lol:


Putting apart jokes, I would only hope that the same fine would have been applied to a local guy who killed the snake around his house for "fear" and/or "disgust".
I write this because I don't think people from Israel love snakes more than people from Italy or Greece do, and I've never heard of a punishment inflicted for 'snake killing', which is actually a far more widespread habit than herping and even than poaching.
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Re: Israel - 21st of April to 25th of April 2016

Postby Berislav Horvatic » Sun Jul 10, 2016 3:09 pm

Ruggero Morimando wrote:Putting apart jokes, I would only hope that the same fine would have been applied to a local guy who killed the snake around his house for "fear" and/or "disgust".
I write this because I don't think people from Israel love snakes more than people from Italy or Greece do, and I've never heard of a punishment inflicted for 'snake killing', which is actually a far more widespread habit than herping and even than poaching.

Same here. (I mean, both in my mind and my country.)
Only, if holding a snake gently in your hands costs 200 EU, I suppose/hope that killing a snake should cost
considerably more. Is that so? In Israel, or elsewhere.

In Croatia (at least), a ranger in a national park is nothing like a policeman, and has no such authorities.
Also, they are totally unarmed (even to my big surprise.) They are not allowed to detain you, let alone
arrest you, or fine you on spot. They can warn you not to do something forbidden, and if you resist, can
only call the police ... that is, if they have the cell-phone signal somewhere in the wilderness, which is
often not the case... and if the local police is willing to climb a mountain like Velebit to intervene...
(I’ve heard that from a real-life ranger in the NP “Northern Velebit”. They are pretty much helpless.)
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Re: Israel - 21st of April to 25th of April 2016

Postby Ilian Velikov » Sun Jul 10, 2016 3:40 pm

Berislav Horvatic wrote:Same here. (I mean, both in my mind and my country.)
Only, if holding a snake gently in your hands costs 200 EU, I suppose/hope that killing a snake should cost
considerably more. Is that so? In Israel, or elsewhere.


My boss is from Israel and he told me when he was a kid they used to get a lot of snakes coming in their yard and, as you might have guessed, they used to kill them all. He didn't mention anything about this being illegal (he might not know) or having trouble with the police because of it. This would always be a problem because while a patrolling officer can spot a herper looking for snakes or handling them out in the open you can't put police in everybody's house or designate an officer to follow every person.
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