One of the most common wild animals among our habitants in Israel is the jackal. This animal tends to enter the cities in search of food, which creates quite a few frightening encounters for both sides, especially at night.
But how can the unpleasant encounter be prevented as much as possible in advance, and what should be done in case of such an encounter? In order to know how to make this experience go well, we turned to Dr. Yaron Dekel, scientific director at the Shamir Research Institute and a lecturer at the University of Haifa, to explain to us exactly what the right steps are to take. In his remarks, he was based on an Israeli study he led, conducted at the Institute and in collaboration with Bar-Ilan University, Bar Ilan University and the Italian ISPRA Institute for Nature Conservation. According to the study, recently published in the journal Scientific Reports, there is increasing evidence of the beginning of the domestication process of wild animals – and where they come from.
A terrifying encounter. Tan, Photo: Dan Melkinson
"Avoid contact with all wildlife, including jackals, which belong to the canine family found in the predator series. Ten moves away and does not tend to come into contact with humans naturally," says Dr. Dekel. "Our physical size and eyes located in the center of the face, as in other predators, leave no illusions about its abilities in relation to us. Wildlife do not waste energy where failure is known in advance. Therefore, there is no need to try to smuggle them out, let alone panic. This can be an interesting opportunity to observe this special and clever animal, and also to continue your normal behavior.
How to know if my jackal has rabies? According to him, the jackal, like any mammal, can become infected and infect with rabies and the signs of the disease in it are similar to those in dogs (salivation, unfocused wandering, lack of fear of a person, aggression). If you have been bitten by a jackal, even if it does not show symptoms – contact the health authorities immediately and report what happened. As for ticks, as long as you don't touch or rub against them, you have nothing to worry about.
Ten in Yarkon Park, in 2020, photo: Gideon Markowitz
Dr. Dekel also provided some additional details about jackals, as well as how to avoid encountering them.
Keep it clean. Give rummaging through a garbage can in the Carmel Forest (archive), photo: Michelle Dot Com
Concluding his remarks, Dr. Dekel noted that "in nature we are only guests for a moment, but the various wild animals that live in groves, forests, deserts and nature reserves throughout Israel are permanent residents, and this is their home. It is important that we know how to act in an encounter with them."
Dr. Yaron Dekel, Scientific Director at the Shamir Institute // Photo: Michael Giladi
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