Sketching Out Blog: Sketches of art, watercolor, photos, recipes, books, interviews, Jewish topics, and Highland Park, New Jersey

Fuzzy Wuzzy wuz a Hyrax

When I photographed this guy in early July at Ein Gedi, I didn’t know what he was. Cute, that’s for sure. Turns out he’s (or she?) a hyrax, an animal that frequents these parts.

Does this look at all like a bunny rabbit? Because in Modern Hebrew, a shafan is a rabbit. But in ancient Hebrew, the word shafan probably applies to a hyrax. See Psalms 104:18 —

The high mountains are for the wild goats; the rocks are a refuge for the conies.
הָרִים הַגְּבֹהִים, לַיְּעֵלִים; סְלָעִים, מַחְסֶה לַשְׁפַנִּים

Conies are the translation of shefanim and supposedly refer to these furry fellows.

For more on nature at the Dead Sea, see:

If you like animal photos, see Dina on Parshat Balak.

And to read more inspiring posts by other inspiring bloggers, visit Jack’s Haveil Havalim #173.

Robin says

The hyrax are adorable, and are always a big hit with my kids. They just wish they'd come a bit closer.

Dianne - Photo Bunny says

How cute! I don't think I've ever seen a hyrax before. I'm sure my kids would love to see one, too. Nice shot. :D

Holy Hyax says

yes, but do they actually chew their cud??????????????????????


Ilana-Davita says

Great photo of a cute animal. I had to look hyrax up; I had no idea what it was.

Dianne says

wow another Dianne with 2 n's lol
that almost never happens

I had to look him up also
he's adorable

Baila says

We went down to Nachal David today. Didn't see any ibex, but did see the hyrax.

What a great trip!

Leora says

Diannes, welcome both of you!

Holy Hyrax, welcome to you, too. You could also consider calling yourself HaShafan HaKadosh.

Robin, I got pretty close to get this picture.

ID, it's a new critter to me, too. Reminds me of our groundhog, but the hyrax is much cuter.

Baila, glad you had fun! Hope it wasn't too hot.

hihorosie says

How stinkin cute! Love little furry critters. Cute ones anyway. :) Don't think I've seen one of those before.


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