Jackal attacks toddler in Tel Aviv park

A one-year-old baby boy was injured when the family was attacked by a jackal, a species prowling certain Tel Aviv neighborhoods in search of food.

By World Israel News Staff

On Monday morning, Israel’s Channel 12 reported that a jackal attacked a family in a small park in Tel Aviv’s Maoz Aviv neighborhood.

A one-year-old boy was injured in the incident, which occurred last week.

According to the Channel 12 report, a group of relatives sat together in a grassy area of the park, including the toddler and his parents.

When the jackal came close to the group, they mistook it for a dog.

It was not a canine and it snatched the baby in its teeth and attempted to drag him away.

“If we had not intervened, he would have killed [the boy],” said one witness quoted in the Channel 12 report.

Family members succeeded in chasing away the jackal, which left teeth-shaped puncture wounds in the terrified child.

The toddler received medical treatment and vaccinations and was in “relatively good” condition.

“It could have ended completely differently. The jackal could have killed the baby if he had grabbed his head,” said a neighbor of the park quoted by Channel 12. “The baby was crying, was a bit hysterical but he was fine. He did not understand what really happened. We neighbors are very scared of the incident.”

Jackals represent a mounting crisis in the area, where city dog-​​catchers are trying to keep a lid on the problem.

“We understood from the municipality that they intend to send a skilled professional to shoot an anesthetic dart if he locates the jackal. There are a lot of young couples and children in this neighborhood,” said a neighbor. “We must capture [them] so that [they do] not harm other kids.”

The Tel Aviv Municipality responded that it is “making great efforts to capture the jackal” from the incident last week, but dog-catchers “have not yet been able to locate the jackal to transfer it to an open area,” an operation “that received special approval from the Nature and Parks Authority.”

The municipality is also scattering baits with rabies vaccines and working to eliminate available food sources that attract jackals, such as trash and cat food.

The city attributed the recent emergence of jackals to the lack of available food in Ganei Yehoshua, forcing the jackals to look for sustenance near residential neighborhoods, such as Maoz Aviv.