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A wolf bit a girl in a real national park, the Nature and Parks Authority: “very unusual”

A 9-year-old girl was bitten tonight (between Friday and Saturday) by a wolf in the overnight parking lot at the Mashit National Garden. The wolf pulled the girl who was sleeping with her family out of the tent. Her father woke up during the attack, and managed to drive the wolf away and drive him away. MDA teams treated the girl in the parking lot who was slightly injured, and then she was transferred to the Soroka Hospital in Be’er Sheva for further treatment and supervision. The parking lot was temporarily closed to visitors for the night, and the Nature and Parks Authority stated that it had begun scanning for the wolf.

Nature and Parks Authority inspectors captured a wolf in Ein Gedi as part of an activity to prevent contact between them and travelers
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Travelers in a real overnight parking lot (photo: Limor Katan Friedman, Nature and Parks Authority)

As mentioned, the girl was referred to the Pediatric Department at Saban Children’s Hospital in Soroka, and upon her arrival was put into the operating room for washing and suturing of the wounds and received a rabies vaccine.

Dr Asaf Tzawar The Director of the Environment Division in the Science Division of the Nature and Parks Authority explained about the animal: “There are dozens of wolves in the Negev that live in the Negev naturally. This is a very important predator in the system. Naturally, they are afraid of humans. Sometimes they approach overnight campers because of the smell of food and barbecues, and people who feed a wolf cause To lose his fear of people. From there, to aggressive behavior – the distance is short.”

“A person is identified with food, so there may be cases where an individual who has become accustomed to receiving food, demands it, and when he does not receive it – may attack. We had such a case in Ein Gedi about 7 years ago,” he said. “In the case in question, there was no feeding and no food was left in the tent, at the same time this is a very unusual incident in which the wolf attacked a girl and even dragged her several meters. We are studying the circumstances of the case.”

A real National Park (Photo: Avi Behari)

The wolf is a predator and the largest of the animals of the canine family. An incident in which a wolf attacks a person is not common, and if it does attack – the victims will mostly be children. A wolf may attack a person if it is starving, if it is a wolf used to being around humans, or if it is infected with rabies. From the middle of the 20th century until 2002, only eight cases of predation were recorded in Europe and Russia and another 200 in South Asia. In America between 2005-2010 only two people were killed. In the forty years until 2023, not a single case of cannibalism has been recorded in Europe. In the Golan Heights, cases of wolf bites were recorded in 2015.

Dr. Tzoer clarifies: “Until we catch the wolf, we won’t know if it is sick, but from the testimonies of the workers, it does not appear that it is a sick individual. It is important to emphasize to the public not to feed wild animals. Feeding animals hurts them. A wolf naturally does not approach a person. If he gets close, make sharp movements, shout, throw things and certainly don’t feed him. In an exceptional case, call the hotline of the Nature and Parks Authority, who will know how to handle a wild animal.”

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