One of the soldiers with the birds
One of the soldiers with the birdsParatrooper Brigade soldier from Team Rafi

IDF reservists from the Paratroopers Brigade were in the middle of an operation to locate illegal weapons last week in the Balata "Refugee" Camp in Shechem (Nablus) when they suddenly came across a different kind of illegal item - a cage of European goldfinchs, who were being kept in the searched home.

After confirming with the Nature and Parks Authority, the soldiers understood that the protected birds were being kept illegally and in conditions that endangered them.

The soldiers decided to take the cage with them and to hand the birds over to the Nature and Parks Authority after the operation.

The Authority continued to tend to the goldfinches during the weekend, fed them, and provided them with medical treatment. After their strength was restored, the birds were returned to nature.

"The high demand for European goldfinches in the market over the past years has led to a drop in their numbers in nature. The goldfinches, which are used as bait for hunting, often suffer from broken legs and injured wings from the hunters. The hunter intentionally injures the bird, so it makes a distress call which attracts other goldfinches which the hunter could catch and sell or breed," the Nature and Parks Authority stated.