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Hungry Javelina

When I moved to Prescott, AZ years ago I was fascinated when I heard the locals talking about the wild javelina. I was told javelina were large furry wild pigs that ran free in the forest, from then on I was absolutely obsessed with seeing them in the wild. I went on many hikes and drives both during the day and night to try and spot one of these seemly elusive creatures. Months went by, and I hadn’t had any luck spotting these wild pigs.

Finally, while working at a house in the forest my wish came true. The owner of the home told me he fed a pack of wild javelina every night at 5:00. Sure enough like clockwork at 4:45 they started coming in for dinner. It was one of the coolest things I had ever seen! The owner brought out lettuce and carrots and they chowed down, and I even hand fed them! It was a huge family with mommies and even little javelina babies, sooooo cute!

I had been told by many people that the javelinas are extremely dangerous and aggressive. And this can certainly be true, they are wild animals and they will do anything to protect their young. However, from my experience they were very docile and gentle, I didn’t have much hesitation about letting the large tusked animal take food from my hand. Maybe that was poor judgment, but these critters had gotten very used to people and they weren’t threatened in the slightest.

Turns out that javelinas are not actually wild pigs at all, they are members of the peccary family which is a typed of hoofed animal. It is recommended that people never feed javelinas as they can become reliant on the food and end up being a neighborhood “pest”

I get that, I mean depending on where you live it could be a very bad idea to invite a pack of javelina in every night for dinner. Common sense comes into play here, keep your pets away from them and never try and approach the babies. If you live in the right spot I really don’t see the harm in sharing a little dinner.

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Wendy Aburto

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