The following (several) are actual newspaper reports of Javelina attacking people and pets.
Hand feeding a wild Javelina. Photo courtesy of Randy Victory.
Author's note: Although this woman was not bitten or attacked and I'm sure she felt she was only being kind to the animal, "kind acts" like these often prove to be a death sentence for the Javelina. Game and Fish departments often capture and destroy Javelina that frequent populated areas looking for hand-outs, that is, if they are not run over by cars or shot by concerned home owners first. It's best to enjoy the chance encounter from a distance, and not to try and attract them with food or water.
Arizona Daily Star
Tucson, Arizona | Published: 12.08.2006
It was supposed to be a 15-minute walk down East Snyder Road with the dogs before taking off to yoga class.
But Tracy Gordon's quick morning trip turned into a daylong nightmare.
At 7:15 a.m. Wednesday, Gordon and her three Chihuahuas were attacked by a pack of javelinas, an unusual moment because Gordon's previous encounters with them on her daily walks were always uneventful.
It started with one javelina sighting on Snyder, near North Sabino Canyon Road. The javelina charged across the street, and though it seemed that the animal wasn't about to attack them, Gordon's dogs had assumed a confrontational stance.
"Their hair went up on their backs, and they had puffed up their chests," Gordon said.
Seconds after she picked up her dogs to protect them, 11 more javelinas seemed to appear out of thin air and surrounded Gordon.
"Typically, they don't travel in that big of a pack, and when they do, they tend to be aggressive," said Gordon, 34.
The attack was a blur, she said. One javelina bit her leg, which caused her to fall and drop the dogs. One or more javelinas had trampled her. Noticing that one of the dogs, Peatree, became a main target and was "being thrown like a rag doll," Gordon ran to a neighbor's home to call her husband, Greg, for help.
Another dog, Tino, suffered a large bite on the neck. The other Chihuahua, Bebe, was not injured.
Pima County Animal Care Center data released last month show 17 incidents since November 2001 in which one or more javelinas bit a person, including six bitings this year ó more than in any year since 2002.
All bites except one were serious enough for the victim to seek medical treatment rather than treat the wound at home. Many of those injured were adults in their 40s or 50s, although one man bitten last January was 76.
Peatree was taken to the Pima Pet Clinic, where she had surgeries to fix a broken pelvis and damaged organs. As of Thursday afternoon, Peatree was in critical condition and in need of additional surgeries.
Tino received stitches, and she and Bebe are not allowed to leave the home for at least 45 days under orders from Pima Animal Care to watch for the onset of rabies. Gordon said her dogs all have had rabies vaccinations.
Gordon's leg was treated at Tucson Medical Center Wednesday, and she has begun rabies treatment.
Though Gordon didn't notice any baby javelinas in the herd, Tom Whetten, information education program manager for the Arizona Game and Fish Department, said a fairly young javelina might have been fearful of the dogs. He praised Gordon's quick thinking before and during the attack.
"She did exactly what she was supposed to do by getting those dogs under control," Whetten said.
As Gordon sat at home Thursday recovering from her injury and worrying about Peatree, she also expressed concern over the many children who wait for the school bus every morning near the attack site and walk home every afternoon, as well as the many people who take regular walks in the area.
"So many people out in this area walk," said Gordon, who has no children. "I think people need to know that this happens."
Whetten said attacks can be reduced and eventually prevented if residents stopped feeding javelinas.
"If we can get people to stop feeding, we can stop having large herds in the metropolitan area," Whetten said.
Whetten said the chances of locating the exact herd that attacked Gordon and her dogs is "a virtual impossibility," but Game and Fish officers will inform residents of the area of the attack.
Gordon said it will be a long time before she'll be able to find the courage to take the dogs for a walk, even for only a few minutes.
"I'm used to being around a lot of wildlife in the area," she said. "Now, not knowing what their behavior's going to be, it'll probably be a while before I go walking."
Thursday Feb 26 2004 it was about 7:00 pm my 14 year old son had just finished walking from the back yard getting some mesquite fire wood for a B-B-Q he left the gate open and my black lab was out side the fence and wondering over into the property next to mine, over 900 acres of ranch land, I have had some problems with some stray dogs in the last week showing up at the house, I was on my back porch getting ready to start the fire, when my dog sounded like he was in a fight with another dog, so I ran off the porch and jumped the barbed wire fence next door and ran right up on 12 javelinas tearing my lab up, it was just light enough out to see them, I began screaming and waving my arms, and scared them off long enough for my lab to turn and run back to the house at that point I had 6 javelinas turn on me as I was trying to back up and get out of there I ended up kicking them off from me as they charged while backing up while screaming at them and waving my arms! they would turn and begin to run and turn right back on me I managed to jump back over the fence and to the house, I ran inside and grab my 22 rifle it was the only gun I had kept loaded and ran back out side and began to shoot at the javelinas, they took off after the first shots were fired, I went back to check on my dog and he was worse of than I had thought He had holes in him about the diameter of the bottom of a coke can, and was bleeding bad, so off the vet I went, calling the vet on the way with my cell phone, the vet met me at his office and stitched up 8 open wounds $ 427.00 dollars latter we were on our way back to the house to kill Javelinas.
Thursday Mar 4 2004 I hadn't seen any Javelinas since the attack, early that morning I was woke up by my dogs barking at 3:00 am I went out back and saw 1 javelina running up and down my fence line pissing off the dogs, I went in the house grabbed the now loaded hunting rifle and went out back, the javelina headed around the side of the house and to the front, so I went threw the house to surprise it and came out on the front porch as I came out on the front porch the front of my yard was full of Javelina at a quick glance at least 15-20 I quickly shot and killed the one closest to me and as I reloaded the others took off running, I didn't get another shot off. the next day I called my friend to see if I could borrow his hog trap, and we set it up in my front yard.
Monday Mar 8 2004 7:30 pm Javelina caught in trap we left it in there over night and my 14 year old shot and killed it the following evening, we cut off its head and are now in the process off cleaning the skull. the tips on your website were quite helpful. I guess I will end up with allot of Javelina skulls by the time I get done.
Javelina attacks census worker--Dateline Big Bend Texas
if there were not enough problems in the Census2000 count, an enumerator hired
to go door to door in south Brewster County was attacked by a hostile javelina
Woman Attacked and Bitten While Walking Dog
Resident Attacked by Javelina
Couple walking dog Attacked by two Javelina
8 - 10 year old sow. Canines are shorter on older animals because of constant tooth wear. Photo by AP Jones (my hand too!).
Below are a couple emails we received (we get numerous regarding Javelina attacks and encounters per year).
My dog and I were walking in a local wash around 4 pm last Wednesday
(Feb 20th) when I heard a noise behind me. I thought it was another
dog walker so I called my 5 month old lab to me while I was turning around.
There were 2 javelina coming
toward me. There were 2 more a ways down the wash. I was
surrounded. I grabbed the dog, but
the 1 javelina lunged at us and was clacking his teeth. Not knowing
what to do I screamed. This
startled him and he stopped for a moment, but he kept charging at us. I
thought we were both dead. I backed up as calmly as I could and
threw a stick in his direction, but didn't know what would scare him off and
what would make him madder. He continued to try to circle around us for a
minute or two before he finally gave up. What is the right or safer or
smarter thing to do in a circumstance! like this?
This email we received on February 23rd (we get several regarding Javelina attacks and encounters per year).
We advised her to avoid the wash if she was walking with her dog, carry a walking stick, and make allot of noise if approached by Javelina,, and don't pick this place to practice blowing the J-13 Javelina Call (humor).
The Javelina were interested in her dog. Javelina respond to dogs as potential predators and will attack dogs on sight! Never get between a dog and Javelina, as in the ensuing melee you may get bit! Remember, when Javelina charge to the aid of a herd member being attacked or to drive off a predator (in this case the dog), they come armed with razor sharp canine teeth that are longer then that of any carnivore in North America. There are several credible reports of Javelina facing off and chasing off mountain lions.
- AP Jones
Hello. I was shocked to see so many cases of Javelina attacks. About 5 years ago I was attacked and severly bitten several times by a wounded javelina that I had shot w/an arrow. There were several javelina w/him and they all attacked. I was treated with several stitches and vaccines at a hospital in Alice, Tx., where they said they had never heard of anyone being attacked by javelinas. I went back out the next day and found him dead where our fight had occurred. I still hunt them today, but I have a far greater respect for them now. I enjoy your site, ..........
Derek, from N. Tx.
The Following was extracted from the Center for Infectious Diseases, CDC web site - Epidemiologic Notes and Reports Rabies in a Javelina -- Arizona
On March 1, 1986, a 47-year-old woman and her husband were hunting javelina (collared peccary, Pecari angulatus, a pig-like mammal) near the Superstition Mountains, east of Phoenix, Arizona. The woman saw a javelina "chasing its tail"...Click here to read entire story.
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