Video interview about me and golden jackals at Hyarkon Park
by 'Yediot Haharonot’ - Feigie Stern | Tal Shahar 👇
Urban Wildlife photographer - jackals and wild animals at Yarkon Park Tel Aviv in the Holly Land
Also known as "Whisper to the Jackals"
Social activist for urban nature conservation and wildlife and the manager of the group “Guard the Yarkon park of all of us – save the nature within the town”.
Gives lectures on / Guided tours - "Urban nature in the camera's eye - jackals and other animals at Yarkon Park Tel Aviv"
All my photos are for sale
Co-author of a book "A brother to jackals"
Welcome to my site,
My name is Irit Drob, born & raised in Ramat-Gan, Israel. I am a nature and wildlife photographer in an urban environment.
I have loved the camera ever since I can remember - a nature girl who got stuck in the city. I love nature and capturing new moments and remembering them. Call it nostalgia, therapy, a reason to wake up in the morning in dark periods. The one thing I am sure of- it always filled me.
In the past years I have been dedicating my time to urban wildlife photography. I live near the Hyarkon Park at aTel-Aviv area and consistently visit that peaceful place- a little piece of heaven in the big city- my refuge. Quiet, green, water, trees - contain a whole life in it… or at least- so it was used to be.
I found myself wandering around for hours every day with new exciting experiences and reviling new world of glorious wild animals, among them are the golden jackals.
My love for wild animals in general and jackals in particular began when I adopted my dog Eddie in 2010 – my big love and other half. he taught me so many things like unconditional love, loyalty, dedication and commitment.
He also helped me overcome fears . I adopted him from the municipal kennel of Tel Aviv and he was an aggressive dog towards everyone. I couldn't take him to dog parks so we started taking long walks to Hayarkon park . Thanks to our walks I discovered a whole and wonderful world of wild animals near our house. Unfortunately in 2021 I lost him and took a long break from all my activities at this year.
Filming the jackals started accidentally, and no- it was not love at first sight. It started after an unpleasant encounter with a female who groaned at my Eddie. It took me a while to understand why she did it – we were near her pups. Since then I have been documenting the Jackals among other animals, learning about their life, understand them and mostly- to be excited. Over time I fell in love with them and experienced their every moment from courtship, mating, caring each other, playful, collaboration, forces games and dominant, fear and love. Some of these moments enacted in my memory forever – moments like cubs are nursing, jackal picking from the bushes with the sweetest look, another jackal fell asleep near me and many more….
So I fell in love, but not only with the jackals. at the same time I was exposed to the whole world of other wild animals like birds, reptiles, frogs, tortoise and many more… I have been photographing all of them over the years, learning to know their world better, appreciate them and love them.
Over the years it became a mission - capture what's left of nature. Unfortunately, the actions of humanity contribute to the disappearance of nature- accelerated construction, amputations trees, destruction of habitats, pollutions, pruning – are some of them. Many animals were found dead or disappeared.
I also became an Environmental activist. I use the social media to raise awareness for nature and I am also a member & manager in a group which we founded to preserve our urban nature - https://www.facebook.com/groups/781125812074349/
I receive reports, inquiries and requests for cooperation mainly on the issue of jackals, but also on other issues related to urban nature and the Yarkon Park.
The activity included contact with the media, members of the parliament (Knesset), local authorities, lawyers, professionals, organizations and associations for animals and the environment, activists, various groups, residents and nature lovers and more...
I was also exposed to difficulties from the side of the jackals in the city - reduction of living spaces, negative stigmas and fears in everything that concerns jackals, human interference, garbage, feeding, the interaction between dogs and jackals, cases of trampling and the attitude of the authorities towards the jackals.
In my effort to preserve nature and fight negative stigmas against jackals, I take pictures and tell personal experiences from their personal world. The Jackals are my special love but many people here do not like them, so this became my mission to show the jackals life so other people will fall in love with them as much as I did.
Indeed, many residents have changed their minds about the jackals thanks to my photos, some even quote the names of the jackals that I call them in various groups on Facebook, some meet me on the street and throw a compliment, some in private messages, but there is still a long way to go.
I have won several photography contests over the years. I also had several exhibitions on the topic of urban nature with a focus on jackals. In all of them, I also addressed a topic close to my heart - the issue of environmental quality and man's impact on nature. Pictures of birds caught in fishing lines, pictures of dead fish, a jackal with a dead fish in its mouth, a whitefish looking at dead fish from the infections in the lake, a jackal with a garbage bag and more. An unforgettable photo - of a female jackal whose head was stuck in a plastic box. The photo was selected for the Nature Photo 5 exhibition at the Eretz Israel Museum in 2021. This case does end well, but many cases end completely differently.
Another photo I took - of a hoopoe and a jackal in the background - won first place in a bird photography competition and was selected to participate in an exhibition at the United Nations.
I am also Co-author of a book about jackals. It was published in August 2022 and it is called "A brother of Jackals".
This is the second book in the Neighbors series published by Afik. The initiators are writer Dror Burstein and bat researcher and poet Maya Weinberg. In the second book I joined them and it is accompanied, among other things, by photographs and texts I wrote.
Over the years I am also working on my own book that will deal with the stories and photos I have collected over the years about the jackals.
At the same time I keep photographing nature and wildlife in the city.
For me, a day without a picture is a day without living...
I hope one day we will wake up and try to preserve the beauty that surrounds us. A whole world is out there outside our window. Nature is life -without it there is no existence. It gives us continuity, health and stability. If we could respect it, the world would have been a better place. Maybe some day we will… until then we can look outside of our window and realized that there is a magical and amazing world of wildlife- even in the city. If we could learn to observe, but really observe….
Until then I invite you to take a look at my photos and maybe you will fall in love as I did....
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