Five javelina were spotted near a picnic table at an Arizona park, where they targeted a 64-year-old woman walking her dog, according to wildlife officials.
The incident unfolded around 4:15 a.m. on Thursday at Madera Park in Tucson, as reported by the Arizona Game & Fish Department. The pig-like creatures charged at the woman, knocking her to the ground, and one of them proceeded to bite her ankle and arm. Mart Hart, the spokesperson for the agency, mentioned the uncertainty regarding which javelina was responsible for the attack.
The victim was subsequently taken to the Tucson Medical Center for treatment and has since been released.
Javelinas, resembling pigs but belonging to the peccary family, are hoofed mammals originating from South America. As adults, they weigh between 40 to 60 pounds and have salt and pepper coloring, possessing a keen sense of smell but poor eyesight. While they primarily inhabit Arizona, these "hoofed raiders of the night" are also found in Texas, New Mexico, Mexico and Argentina.
Wildlife officials cautioned about potential encounters with javelinas, emphasizing their occasional aggression, especially towards people walking dogs, often mistaking them for coyotes.
Recommendations include turning around when encountering a javelina while walking a dog, picking up smaller dogs, making noise to deter the animals and fighting back or kicking if attacked.
Additionally, preventive measures such as securing garbage and cleaning up fallen fruit and pet food outside were advised.