TUCSON, Ariz. — A 29-year-old woman walking her dog was charged and bitten by a javelina late last night. Javelina are a common sight in the desert.
They usually go about their own business, but can be aggressive if they perceive a threat.
“They have very sharp canine teeth and the wounds they inflict can be a puncture wound or gash,” said Arizona Game and Fish Spokesperson Mark Hart.
Arizona Game and Fish tweeted Monday about one such encounter that happened late Sunday night.
The woman was walking her dog in the Catalina Foothills when a group of javelina approached and one charged.
Spokesperson Mark Hart says if they smell a dog, they often attack thinking it's a coyote.
“They react very instinctively to what they think is a predator and then people are sometimes injured trying to separate the two combatants, trying to get between the javelina and the dog.”
Hart says the woman got a six-inch gash on her leg and is being treated for rabies as a precaution. The dog was uninjured.
“In Tucson, this kind of thing can happen if you are just walking on your street in a community with access to the desert.”
Hart says if you see a javelina while walking your dog, walk the other way. And be watchful for other wildlife during hot summer months.
“We see this phenomenon of animals being stressed from heat and seeking water.”
AZ game and fish recently tweeted two different videos of mountain lions prowling through yards likely in search of water.
“Best words of wisdom we can give you if is whether it's a javelina or mountain lion it's a wild animal you don’t want to get too close to it.”