Thursday, April 21, 2005

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Important Passover News from Israel

FoxNews is carrying this important Passover story...

Israeli Gorillas Observe Passover

RAMAT GAN, Israel (AP) — When Passover comes around, even gorillas in Israel keep kosher.

In line with many other Israelis busy removing bread-related products for the Passover holiday that begins Saturday night, the Safari Park Zoo (search) near Tel Aviv does the same.

Since religiously observant zookeepers and handlers cannot touch any leavened products during the weeklong holiday, the gorillas and other animals are also fed matzo — the unleavened cracker Jews eat to remember that in their rush to flee Egyptian slavery, the ancient Israelites' bread did not have time to rise.

"This turns out to be an interesting time for the gorillas and for the other animals because they get a bit of a change in diet," said Emelia Turkel, the zoo's curator. "We call this environmental enrichment, Jewish style."

The zoo has always fed the animals matzo during Passover, Turkel said, but tries to limit their intake to just one or two crackers a day to prevent the most common side-effect of matzo — constipation.

"If they eat too much it does cause stomach problems, so we hope that our public this week will not be feeding their own matzo to the animals," Turkel said.

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