Authorities confirmed Sunday that they had found the carcass of a rabid wolf, suspected of being behind three separate incidents of wolf bites that occurred last week in the Golan Heights.
Lab tests by the Agriculture Ministry and the Israel Nature and Parks Authority confirmed that the wolf had been infected with rabies.
Five people were treated for wolf bites last week and given rabies shots after the fact, as well as two others who had been on the hikes.
Rangers said they have also considered the idea that the female wolf may have had young pups with her and had felt threatened by the presence of the hikers.
The attacks mark the third reported incident of a wolf attack in Israel in the past year. Last December, a group of children in the city of Katzrin in the Golan Heights were attacked, and in March a wolf attacked a passerby in the northern city of Tiberias and was later shot after being tracked down to nearby Kibbutz Ginosar.
The Agriculture Ministry has recorded five incidences of rabies in animals throughout the country this year, including one wolf. Last year, the ministry said its goal was to rid the country of rabies with mandatory vaccinations for all dogs over the age of three months and recommended vaccinations for cats and ferrets, as well.