Jackals in Jerusalem

Golden Jackal (Photo: Steve Garvie)

The City of Jerusalem has recently had some unusual guests in some of its neighborhoods. Jerusalem residents have reported seeing wild jackals in such areas as Ein Kerem and Kiriyat HaYovel. These jackals, which live in the Jerusalem Hills and forests, venture into the city seeking food. Trash left behind in public parks and food left out for cats attracts these wild creatures. Jackals have been known to scavenge since biblical times. 

SPNI's Amir Balaban explained to the press, "There are large numbers [of jackals] in Jerusalem parks and the Jerusalem forest. Jackals speak the language of food. They are looking for garbage and trash, food that has been thrown out or left behind in public parks. They are dangerous animals because they can transfer diseases, including rabies."

The golden jackal, Canis aureus, can be found throughout Israel. They are considered to be crepuscular, being most active at dusk and at dawn.