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Contents / Turkey's 'wild ones'
Desert monitor, dormouse, lynx, Egyptian mongoose. Their names may be new to most of us, but they are not new to Anatolia.

As the snowflakes build up like sugar raining from the sky, I watch them fall under the towering Scotch pines in temperatures approaching minus twenty Centigrade. A pair of eyes in the brush warm my heart. Every now and then he breaks off a shoot from the birch tree, devours it and sets to staring at me again. No doubt he's wondering if I'm a hunter. He approaches me gradually, pausing first under a tree to brush off the snow with his spindly legs before starting to gnaw the yellowed grass. Then he comes even closer. There is only ten meters between us now. It's my first time to see a dewy-eyed roe deer up this close. He is just one of the many wild animals that live in Turkey. Many became extinct long ago, others are on the verge. Cheetahs no longer kick up the Anatolian dust. Tigers no longer chase deer. But fallow deer, hyenas, monitor lizards, lynxes, wild sheep and others continue to inhabit Turkey's mountains, forests, and rock cliffs.
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