Not-So-Canid Attacks

An Indian newspaper reports that four people were hurt by a jackal. This would be the species known as the golden jackal, which has the roughly the same size and eating habits as the American coyote.

A canid launching seemingly pointless attacks like these is almost surely rabid. The article mentions another jackal hurting 20 people a couple of months ago, and there are a few deaths from jackal attacks in the historical record. Jackals are not considered dangerous to people except when rabid.

(I wrote about jackals in the Middle East in The Red Hourglass.)

UPDATE: The Times of India is now blaming a hyena, not a jackal, and the attacks have continued. A few years ago in India, a rabid striped hyena injured 70 people. These animals are about the size of German shepherds, but their jaws are more powerful. They occasionally prey on children. These, however, are clearly not predatory attacks. They would seem to be the work of a rabid animal in the mad phase of the disease. It will die soon; the only question is how many it will hurt before it does.

Brief video of a striped hyena captured on a US military base in Iraq:

Video of a striped hyena eating:


  1. Call me weird but I've always thought hyenas are beautiful animals.

    Also, I finally know what a striped hyena sounds like! When angry, at least...


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