An Act of Love in a war torn country between an injured wolf and some unlikely friends

A wonderful event took place recently in an area of the world that cannot yet find peace between the people living there. But hearts went out to a hurt and stranded wolf who was seriously injured when her leg was caught in a hunters trap on the Palestinian side of the separation fence.

Soldiers of the Israeli armored corps found her and alerted Roi Ben-Yosef, an inspector from the Israel Nature and National Parks Protection Authority. He immediately came to the wolf's rescue and rushed her to the safari's veterinary hospital. The wolf was given the name Ahinoam which means beauty of motion in Israeli.

Dr. Yigal Horowitz of the animal hospital then treated the wolf's leg until it was completely healed. He was hesitant however about returning Ahinoam back to the wild because he thought that her contact with them could possibly compromise her safety in the future. He needed not to worry though. After her leg was completely healed plans were made to release her into the wide-open spaces of the Gilboa Mountains in the north. Dr. Horowitz was quickly reassured when they had to put Ahinoam into a cage to transport her. He was quoted as saying "from the way the wolf resisted getting into the cage, it was clear we were witnessing the behavior of a wild animal."

In a touching gesture, Ahinoam was released back into the wild on Tuesday, May 24th, 2011 in the presence of the soldiers who had saved her life. After hesitating only a few seconds in front of the people who came to watch, Ahinoam quickly scampered out of her cage to freedom once again. She has been fitted with a transmitter collar to allow her movements to be traced in the future.

Ahinoam was intentionally released into the Gilboa Mountains because it is known that two wolf packs make their home there.
"We hope she joins one of them," Dr. Horowitz said optimistically.

Photos: Tomer Neuberg / Jini

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