There’s good news for the two Israeli hikers bitten by an otter on the Ein Divsha trail in the Upper Galilee.
The otter is not rabid.
In fact, according to the Israel Nature and Parks Authority, the otter is a runaway who had escaped from a nearby kibbutz petting zoo a week earlier.
After the otter bites were reported, the authority closed the hiking trail and sent the victims for rabies shots. Otters, according to the Society for Protection of Nature in Israel, generally do not attack humans. So when they do, that means something is wrong, and it might be rabies.
But once the offending otter was caught, and it turned out to have an ID chip, experts reconsidered. Most likely, they say, the otter was hungry, and it was used to getting food from people. So — there was a person! Whoops!