After the tragic murder of Ephraim Tzur and his mother Itta on the sixth night of Chanukah Rosh Chodesh Tevet 5757 December 11 1996, the Pinat Hai was renamed after Efraim.
That story as told to us by Mr Tuvia Victor.
“On the sixth night of hanukka nearly 17 years ago, Ephraim Tzur was killed, together with his mother, by terrorists on their way home after visiting an aunt in Tel Aviv. I was on the ambulance that went to treat them, and was with Ephraim although there was not much that could be done. The following Shabbat, I visited the spot where Ephraim and his friends kept an assortment of animals – a goat, a few ducks and 2 geese. His friends had put up a hand painted sign “Ephraims Farm in memory of our friend Ephraim Tzur”. The sign touched my heart and I decided to help them.”
Tuvia has been helping the Pinat Hai for the last sixteen years by maintaining it and making it into the place that it is today.
The local council gave 12 dunams of land to the Pinat Hai in order to expand. A budget was found to put down the basic infra-structure. The local council also agreed to help by giving an annual budget for food and hay . The local council today pays for the food and the hay at a cost of about 30000 shekels a year .
The JNF then built three concrete/stone caves for the farm animals as well as the barn to keep the hay.
The children started building the cages for smaller animals –rabbits and guinea pigs, foxes, ferrets and pea-cocks –
Today there are many more diverse animals such as sika deer, Israeli deer, donkeys, Jacob sheep and pygmy goats, degus, chinchillas, ducks and a variety of birds.
About 8 years ago the JNF added the duck ponds.
Havat Ephraim has also been made the home for animals rescued by the Nature and Parks Authority of Israel. Where an animal has been injured in our area and cannot be returned to its natural habitat, the nature authorities have brought them to us to care for them.