A few weeks ago, residents in the northeastern Negev town of Arad reported seeing foxes and wolves in their neighborhoods, mostly in the late evenings and overnight hours.
Wolves have also been reported in Sde Boker and Ein Gedi; jackals in Beit She’an, and the northern neighborhoods of Ramat Gan, near Tel Aviv, according to the Globes business news site. Wild boar have been seen in Haifa.
In Efrat, residents have been complaining about packs of wild dogs roaming the streets, and even killing pets.
Although it was unusual for the creatures to enter the neighborhoods, it wasn’t really strange for them to appear on the edges of the town: Aradnikim who wander in the wadis have grown used to seeing foxes and jakals in the surrounding desert, along with the various scorpions, camel spiders and occasional snakes that appear in residents’ homes with the advent of summer.
But this is different. Now the wolves are arriving in packs, and they’re entering the town to look for food and water because some of their natural habitat is being destroyed by developers.
In the case of Efrat, the municipality said they discovered that Arabs in a neighboring town had been burying their dead animals in a nearby field and that was attracting the wild dogs.
Ecologists are warning against complacency. Gardeners and tour guides, who as a matter of course are familiar with the habits of animals, are now taking care to notice whether there are wild animals around their area.
Parents are now taking care not to allow children to wander after dark, and adults are being more cautious about their surroundings. There is a concern that once wild animals realize the humans are a source of food, they may decide to attack.