Javalina…The Scourge of Arizona

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Javelina with big mouthI know a lot about Javalina(Too much in fact). Oh they may look like pigs, but pigs are smart and these suckers give new meaning to the word dumb. They are blind as well, so if one gets too close, just stand still and they can’t find you.

These animals are classified as peccaries. Out here in the “Wilds of Arizona” we called them Javalina, (Pronounced Havalina.) If you say it any other way, WE KNOW YOU ARE FROM OUT OF TOWN. They weigh from 44 to 88 pounds, and when provoked, they can attack. (In other words, yelling at them is Okay, but poking them with a stick is NOT Okay. They look like pigs because they have small eyes and a snout. They even snort like a pig, but they are NOT pigs.

Javalina have tusks adapted to crush seeds and slice through tough vegetation in order to ingest it. They have been known to eat: Cactus, Your favorite vegetable, your best fruit, flowers, and ANYTHING that you leave outside for the birds or pets. If they eat the contents of your Organic garden, then you come to realize that these “opportunistic feeders” should be re-named. They are truly “The Pests of the Prairie”.

They travel in herds. The most disgusting thing about them is the “sweat” gland located on their backs, which they use to mark their territory. The pungent odor that oozes from them, is used to recognize other members of the herd. They often smell like skunks, hence the nick-name “Skunk Pigs”.

My personal experience with these critters has been mixed. At first I found them cute. However, after eating my prized Cantalope, and nearly killing a neighbors’ dog by ripping its tail off, I had to re-think “cute”. I despise the little bastards. when they appear in the yard, I have to quickly gather the dog by the scruff of his neck and rush him into the house. I trust a Javalina about as far as I could throw one. So if you ever do venture to the rural areas of Arizona, don’t ever say I didn’t warn you!

The weirdest story I have heard so far about the Javalina was about a woman in Sedona who would put food out for them every night. Apparently, she thought that treating a wild animal like a pet was a smart thing to do. Now they regularly come to her house to feed. They have become so brazen, that they actually scratch at her door when they want more food. Blaaaaah! Seriously? This lady is either really senile or dumber than a monkey on Crack!

The really bad news is, IT IS ILLEGAL TO SHOOT JAVALINA  in Arizona. Here is the good news, during “Hunting Season” you can kill them, but only with a bow and arrow. (I mean you have to be sporting about it.) I am not a hunter, because I haven’t got the necessary BLOOD-LUST to be good at it. I just yell at them in a high-pitched scream, and they scurry out of the yard like a bunch of candy-asses. Ahhhh…. Life in Paradise.

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