Ramallah: Many Palestinians in the West Bank are switching from goat meat to deer meat due to the cheap price.
Hunting deer is technically illegal but that does not stop hunters from killing the animals for profit.
A kilogram of deer meat is sold in the West Bank for only 55 shekels, while a kilogram of goat meat sells for 80 shekels.
Prices are cheaper in the winter because the deer can be easily hunted as they take shelter in caves and caverns located in the northern areas of the West Bank to hide from the cold and rain.
Many Palestinians are starting to actually prefer the taste of deer meet. It is also rumoured to increase sexual potency.
“More and more Palestinians are using deer meet in barbecues, especially in the winter because prices are cheaper in the winter due to the large supply,” Abu Hatem, a Palestinian from the village of Azzun told Gulf News.
But the popular new trend has alarmed wildlife activists.
Despite fines and jail terms imposed on those hunting deer, many hunters risk it to make a quick profit.
According to Palestine Wildlife Society head Ebrahim Odeh, hunters come to Nablus and Jenin from all across the occupied West Bank to cash in.
He predicts there might only be 200 deer left.
“We are pushing to make the Palestinian Mountain Gazelle as the national animal of Palestine,” he said, adding that he hopes this will increase public awareness on the importance of preserving the species.
Odeh said the Palestinian National Authority is not doing enough to crack down on these hunters.