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Response to javelina attack has neighbors asking questions

Liz Kotalik

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Response to javelina attack has neighbors asking questions

By Liz Kotalik. CREATED Sep 24, 2013

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - It was 5:30 in the morning on August 28th. A woman walking a friend's dog saw a herd of javelinas eating out of her neighbor's knocked-over trash can.

The javelinas attacked her and left the dog alone.

"This was the worst case we have handled in terms of human injury," Mark Hart with Arizona Game and Fish Department told Nine On Your Side. "This was an attack."
 
An attack, Hart said, that was unusual behavior for javelinas. 
 
They are not known to be aggressive towards humans, and because of that, Game and Fish made the decision that those seven javelina were not safe to be living in our communities.
 
"Something had to be done," Pat Sexton with the Harold Bell Wright Estates Homeowner's Association told us. "That's the only thing that was viable for them to do."
 
But others, she said, do not share that opinion, and she set up a meeting with Game and Fish tonight in part  to set the record straight.
 
"It just seems like the move was really quick to euthanize the herd," neighbor Bob Gay told Game and Fish in the meeting.
 
He said he wished relocation would have been considered in this circumstance; an option many of our Facebook friends told us they would have also preferred. 
 
"Not an option with this herd because of their behavior," Game and Fish said.
 
They told the neighbors they did not feel comfortable that if released to another location, the javelinas would have wandered back and attacked someone else.
 
"This was an attack by those javelina on that woman, and that raised it to another level," Hard said.
 
Another level that Game and Fish said required lethal force to keep this neighborhood and others safe.
 
Game and Fish also said that this event most likely happened because the javelinas were accustomed to humans thanks to both intentional and unintentional feeding.
 
Intentional feeding can have at up to $300 fine, and means a person is purposefully giving wildlife food.
 
This makes animals relate food to humans, making them more likely to attack.
 
Unintentional feeding includes having a trash can that's knocked over, and having bird feeders close to the ground. 
 
Game and Fish recommends either having your trashcan tied up so animals cannot knock it over or getting "bear resistant" trashcans.
 
For more information, visit the Game and Fish website

 

Liz Kotalik

Liz Kotalik

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Liz Kotalik is so proud to work in her home state of Arizona with her KGUN9 family. She anchors the 7 a.m. morning show "GMT Extra" on the CW Tucson every weekday, and also reports for later newscasts.