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Amelia Terkel grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. She always loved living things of all sizes and spent her summers backpacking in the mountains. At university she studied zoology and she has a PhD in Animal Behavior. After meeting her Israeli husband Joseph in graduate school, they married and immigrated to Israel in 1971.

While their two children were small Amelia worked in science curriculum development. In 1981 she was appointed to the position of curator at the Safari in Ramat Gan, just when the animals from the old Tel Aviv Zoo were transferred to their new home in Ramat Gan. Amelia says that she feels truly fortunate to have participated in the everyday challenges and

excitement involved in creating an environment where the wellbeing of animals was paramount, and where the public could experience the animals and plants, and absorb the incredible beauty and diversity of the living world. 

After 31 years Amelia retired. Today she enjoys her grandchildren, sharing her interests with them and helping them develop their own.

Amelia Terkel and her grand-daughter, Yasmin, release the Black Mercenaries. Photos: Amir Terkel

Amelia Terkel

Citrus Mealy Bugs (‘White Vandals’) suck the sap of the hibiscus hedge while the distended bellies of Big-Headed Ants (‘Brown Traders’) indicate they have licked the bugs’ excreted sugar. The ants will bring the sugar to their underground nests to feed their own young

Left: Larva Lady Beetle (‘Black Mercenary’) looks like a mature Citrus Mealy Bug. Right: (‘White Vandal’). The larvae infiltrate the Mealy Bug colonies and eat them

Our garden in Herzliya looks beautiful and serene on a hot, ...