Curious Javelina (& ranch animals too)


This javelina started quite a discussion at the ranch.

How do we live with wildlife, while keeping people safe?


Javelina are cute, and curious, but if their babies are around, or they feel threatened, they can be quite intimidating. This javelina came right up to the fence, no super zooming camera lens here. The photographer could have pet the cute snout if she wanted. Shortly after this photo, curiosity satiated, the javelina returned to its friend and meandered  back to the wash.

Here’s a fact sheet by the Desert Museum about javelina, including sounds they make.

And Arizona Game & Fish have suggestions for living with javelina:

Javelina will likely visit occasionally if you live in a semi-urban area near a wash or other natural desert. Javelina usually cause only minor problems for people by surprising them or eating a few plants. However, people should NEVER feed javelina. This can cause them to become regular visitors and lose their fear of people, creating problems for the neighborhood and often leading to the death of the javelina. 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.

So what should we do? Well, at Campo Urbano, we move inside, or watch from a safe distance. We also have a series of procedures in place to let others know about any wildlife sightings. Usually we’re excited to see them, and want to share the experience with others!

Some other suggestions from AZ Game & Fish:

  • Scare off animals by making loud noises (bang pots, yell, stomp on the floor, etc.); throwing small rocks in their direction (don’t hit the animals); or spraying with water from a garden hose.
  • If the animal is confined, open a gate, have all people leave the area, and allow it to leave on its own.
  • If you see javelina while walking your dog, avoid going near the javelina and quickly take your dog in a different direction.

Keep in mind:

  • Javelina are classified as a big game species. It is unlawful to injure or kill game animals, even if they are causing a problem, unless certain rigorous provisions under the law have been met. See Arizona Game and Fish Department Hunting Regulations.
  • It is unlawful to trap javelina.
  • State law prohibits firing a gun within a quarter-mile of an occupied residence or building without the permission of the owner.