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Catalina Foothills residents save family of javelina

Baby javelina in Catalina Foothills
Posted at 10:08 PM, Nov 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-04 01:30:10-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — The sound of little feet banging inside a tin trash can alerted a pair of Catalina Foothills residents to an urgent situation.

"I heard some noises that sounded like grunting and crying a little bit. Something was banging against the tin of the trash can," said Jessica Tiegs.

Tiegs and her dog, Truffle, noticed a javelina in distress.

"I bet you anything her baby is struck in the trash can," said Tiegs.

She was right. Not one, but three baby javelina were stuck in a deep underground trash can in Tieg's neighborhood.

"We called the police department and they gave us the number for wildlife rescue, but this was at 6:30 or 7 in the morning. Wildlife rescue didn't open until noon," said Tiegs.

Unable to bare the thought of what would happen during the wait, the couple and their neighbors took matters into their own hands. They cautiously waited for the mom to look away and set her babies free.

"Javelina get into any neighborhood where there is a wash. That is how wildlife travel around in urban environments," said Mark Hart with the Arizona Department of Game and Fish.

Hart said javelina have been enjoying the cooler Fall weather. He said seeing them out and about is not uncommon.

"We don't want people to be so afraid of javelina that they can't enjoy seeing them from time to time, but just know that they have have pretty formidable canine teeth, known as tusks. If you get bit, it can cause a pretty serious wound," said Hart.

Since October 7, the Arizona Department of Game and Fish reported four javelina attacks in Oro Valley. In the Catalina Foothills, Tiegs and her partner, Greg Proctor, are worried their neighborhood's trash system will continue to attract wildlife.

"It definitely makes me think about walking her (my dog) when it's not very light out here and paying a little bit more attention about what could be coming up from the wash. If they're coming up for trash every night we need to be cautious," said Proctor.

The Arizona Department of Game and Fish encourages anyone who encounters javelina in distress to call their 24/7 hotline at 623-236-7201.