The Yotvata Hai-Bar Nature Reserve is designed to nurture and breed endangered and locally extinct animals to reintroduce them into the Negev.
The reserve focuses on animals mentioned in the Bible but the animals in their sanctuary are not exclusively from Israel or the Middle East.
They also cares for and breeds endangered animals from other habitats around the world, without plans to introduce them into the wild.
Among the animals native to the Land of Israel are Persian onager, white antelope, white oryx, Negev ostrich, sand cat, Arabian wolf, Griffon vulture, African wild donkey, and Arabian gazelle.
In the area of the reserve there is also a herd of Negev deer, which live here naturally.
Persian onager was successfully reintroduced in 1982 into Ramon Crater and established themselves in a considerable part of the Negev Mountains.
While the white oryx have successfully reintroduced in 1996 in the northern Arava which spans the Dead Sea and Eilat.
Unfortunately, Yotvata Hai-Bar has not yet been successful in reintroducing Negev ostrich.
The African wild ass, the addax and the Sahara oryx are part of an international effort to protect them in captivity.
They are not intended to be introduced into the Negev, either because they are not native, or because it is debated if they existed in Israel.
There are three sections to the nature reserve.
The first section is a safari tour which you can drive through.
This open area is home to herbivores which enjoy the acacia trees that grow here providing them shade and food.
In the next section is the Predators Center where carnivorous animals are kept in enclosures, they include leopards, wild cats, caracal, hyenas, and foxes.
You can also see birds of prey, and reptiles, and rodents native to the desert.
The final section, for nocturnal creatures, where you can observe animals which only come out at night like bats and barn owls.
The day and night hours are reversed in this section so that animals are active when visitors come.
Visiting Yotvata Hai-Bar Nature Reserve
Like the like the Dead Sea and Masada, the nature reserve is located along route 90 and the easiest way to arrive is by car.
For hours and ticket prices see the Yotvata Hai-Bar webpage.