Unusual utilization of wild African animals

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Wed, 2009-01-28 14:55 by Hans

HAARETZ.com, Israel

IDF adds antelope to its arsenal in fight against Hezbollah

By Eli Ashkenazi, Haaretz Correspondent

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In addition to infantry, armor and intelligence units, the Israel Defense Forces has also deployed eight Eland antelope to further secure Israel's tense northern border against Hezbollah.

The antelope have been stationed in the zone between the security fence and the international border to clear problematic foliage that distorts views of the Lebanese side and within which Hezbollah guerillas could hide.

The animals, each weighing in at over 500 kilograms, are known for their sharp incisors and fondness for eating vegetation. Hailing from eastern Africa, the animals were first brought to Israel more than 30 years ago as part of a project to raise them at local zoos before sending them to Europe.

Israel's defense establishment has apparently caught onto the beasts' impressive ability to quickly chew through large quantities, as well as the low cost of looking after them and their environmental-friendliness. …

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