An Oro Valley woman was bitten by a javelina on March 25, while out walking with her husband and their dog in a residential neighborhood.
According to Arizona Game and Fish, the dog responded aggressively to the javelin. The couple maintained control of their dog, but as they attempted to leave the area, one of the javelina bit the woman on her thigh.
She was treated at Oro Valley Hospital for a possible infection and rabies.
“If you see javelina while walking your dog, go in the opposite direction. Javelina can’t tell the difference between a dog and a coyote, which prey on javelina, so javelina react instinctively to dogs,” said Regional Supervisor Raul Vega of Game and Fish in Tucson. “The presence of dogs is the second leading cause of injuries to humans by javelina, which are rare but can be serious. The leading cause of such injuries is feeding javelina, which is illegal.”
“Javelina occasionally bite humans, but incidents of bites are almost always associated with people providing the javelina with food. Javelina can inflict a serious wound. Defensive javelina behavior may include charging, teeth clacking, or a barking, growling sound. Javelina may act defensively when cornered, to protect their young, or when they hear or smell a dog. Dogs and coyotes are natural predators of javelina, and they can seriously hurt or kill each other. Javelina around your home may also inadvertently attract mountain lions, because mountain lions prey on javelina,” advises the Arizona Game and Fish website.
Javelina form herds of two to more than 20 animals and rely on each other to defend territory, protect against predators, regulate temperature and interact socially. They use washes and areas with dense vegetation as travel corridors. Javelina are most active at night, but they may be active during the day when it is cold, according to Arizona Game and Fish.