‘We woke up to her screaming’: Wolf drags girl from tent in Negev campsite

Father drives animal away; 9-year-old taken to Beersheba hospital for treatment; Israel Nature and Parks Authority closes facility as rangers scour area

An illustrative photo of a gray wolf (Carlos Delgado/Wikimedia Commons)
An illustrative photo of a gray wolf (Carlos Delgado/Wikimedia Commons)

A 9-year-old girl who was camping with her family at a campground in the Negev was dragged out of her tent by a wolf overnight on Friday, according to Hebrew-language media reports.

Magen David Adom paramedics administered first aid at the scene before taking the girl to Beersheba’s Soroka Hospital for further treatment. Her condition was not reported.

The attack began when the wolf tore open the tent, bit the girl and then pulled her outside while she was still sleeping, according to the girl’s father, Arnon.

“We woke up to her screaming,” he told Channel 12 news, adding that the wolf “grabbed her by the head and dragged her for about 15 meters.”

“She woke up and tried to fight him, at which point he let go of her head and grabbed her by the hand. I reached her and scared him away. It was all a matter of seconds,” he said.

“She screamed from fear and then from pain. It took her a long time to understand what was going on; she thought it was a dream,” the girl’s father was quoted as saying.

Arnon said the wolf continued to prowl between tents at the campground after the attack.

Israel Nature and Parks Authority rangers were scouring the area for the animal, and the campground was closed temporarily, according to Channel 12.

The incident, which occurred at the Mamshit National Park near Dimona, was one of many cases of wolf attacks on humans — children in particular — in recent years.

In what is becoming an increasingly common phenomenon, wolves are approaching campsites to try and snatch what they can — including small children.

There are believed to be 100-150 Arabian wolves, a subspecies of the gray wolf, living in Israel. Most live in the southern deserts but there are also packs in the Golan Heights and the Galilee.

Experts believe that the local wolf packs have adapted to human society and now see people as not only something to fear but also as a potential source of food.

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