Two wolf attacks reported in Golan Heights

Health Ministry fears animals are rabid, requests that people in contact with wild animals seek medical attention

Marissa Newman is The Times of Israel political correspondent.

Illustrative photo of Canis Lupus Arabs (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons/Felagund/CC BY-SA 3.0)
Illustrative photo of Canis Lupus Arabs (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons/Felagund/CC BY-SA 3.0)

The Health Ministry urged people who had contact with wild animals in the Golan Heights recently to seek medical attention Tuesday, after two separate incidents a day earlier in which possibly rabid wolves attacked people.

The two wolves were shot and are being checked for the disease, the ministry said.

In a statement, it urged all citizens who were in contact with wild animals in the area since December 1 to seek medical treatment immediately.

In the first incident on Monday, a couple was attacked in an orchard near the Druze town of Buq’ata. The pair were treated for rabies in a local hospital.

The second attack took place near the small agricultural community of Odem, when a wolf lunged at a man who managed to get away unharmed.

The ministry issued a warning on Monday that a brown wolf thought to be infected with rabies was at large at Hof Golan, on the shore of the Sea of Galilee. It was not clear if that was one of the wolves involved in the attacks.

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Last March, a female wolf that bit at least 10 people in Tiberias and the surrounding areas was tracked and fatally shot near Kibbutz Ginosar in northern Israel.

The animal was initially spotted on the city promenade where it bit half a dozen pedestrians, inflicting light injuries. The wolf bit a man at the northern exit to the city later in the afternoon, and attacked a father and his young daughter on the outskirts of Ginosar.

Israel is home to an estimated several hundred wolves, most of them located in the Golan Heights and Arava desert.

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