Historic Jacob sheep from Abbotsford lands in Israel

Animals being shipped on 11 flights back to their homeland

  • Dec. 18, 2016 1:00 p.m.

Three of the 11 flights of Jacob sheep from an Abbotsford farm have already landed in southern Israel.

A total of 119 Jacob sheep, their origins tracing back more than 3,000 years ago to the Middle East, have finally returned home to Israel.

The sheep are being shipped on 11 flights from Gil and Jenna Lewinsky’s farm in Abbotsford to Hamilton, Ont. where they will be quarantined before flying out of Toronto’s Pearson Airport to southern Israel. It will likely take a month after all the sheep have arrived to be properly quarantined and vaccinated.

Three of the 11 flights have already landed. It’s believed to be the single largest airlift of animals in Israeli history.

The breed received the name Jacob sheep based on chapter 30 in the Book of Genesis, where Biblical patriarch Jacob tends to a flock of speckled or spotted sheep. According to the scripture, the flock were kept by ancient Hebrew people and factored significantly into religious life.

There is estimated to be fewer than 10,000 of the sheep left in North America.

In 2015, Gil Lewinsky told the Abbotsford News he and his wife Jenna were “on a mission to preserve these sheep.” They received their first few as a gift from a friend, but researched further into the breed and took on an entire flock when a heritage ranch decided to get rid of them.

The sheep were imported in the early 1900s to North America, where they have been cross-bred with different sheep varieties. However, the Lewinskys say all of their sheep are purebred as they come from heritage farms or farms with an aim of conserving the breed.

The Lewinskys will stay with the flock in the city of Ofakim.

 

Just Posted

Man who sexually assaulted teen in Abbotsford is declared dangerous offender

Anton Foulds has more than 30 convictions, dating back to 1991

Trial set for man charged with decades-old murder of Monica Jack

Garry Handlen accused of killing Merritt girl; also charged with Abbotsford murder

Abbotsford scientist says more oversight needed after last-minute report stops soil permit

City staff recommended permit approval before a scientist warned proposal would harm fish

ABBY ELECTION HUB: Everything you need to know in one spot

Interviews, Q&As, info on how to vote, stories on the issues and candidate bios all in one place.

VIDEO: Man killed in shooting at Abbotsford bank

Police believe incident on Thursday night to be targeted

Singer k.d. lang receives Alberta’s highest honour

Celebrated singer-songwriter k.d. lang received the Alberta Order of Excellence in Edmonton

Anti-SOGI school trustee files defamation lawsuit against BCTF president

Barry Neufeld says Glen Hansman’s words caused him “indignity,” “personal harassment,” and “anxiety”

Ocean “Blob” returns to North Coast of B.C.

A 2,000 kilometre patch of warm ocean water could signal a warm winter in Prince Rupert

Pot sales down by nearly 70% on Day 2 of legalization in B.C.

Several products on BC Cannabis Store are still sold out

B.C. jury finds man guilty of Japanese exchange student’s murder

Natsumi Kogawa was found at empty heritage mansion shortly after she was reported missing in 2016

B.C. man accused of killing Belgian tourist along Highway 1 appears in court

Sean McKenzie, 27, made second court appearance since his arrest in connection with the murder of Amelie Sakkalis

Colourfully named cannabis products appeal to youth, Tory health critic says

Conservative health critic Marilyn Gladu says the Liberal government needs to do more to ensure cannabis products available online are not enticing to young people

Disney on Ice returns to Vancouver with Moana in starring role

Eight shows at Pacific Coliseum in late November

B.C. high school teacher faces sexual assault charges

A Mt. Boucherie teacher has been charged with child luring, sexual exploitation and sexual assault.

Most Read