How to Handle a Javelina Encounter

How to Handle a Javelina Encounter
A javelina is a wild hoofed mammal that lives in a social herd. They are calm and shy, and can often be observed from a safe distance. A surprise encounter with a wild, 60-pound javelina--a strong creature with sharp tusks--can be a dangerous experience. They bite, charge, bark and growl to defend themselves. A javelina can inflict serious wounds and even transmit diseases like rabies and distemper.
 

Instructions

Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Step 1
Parts of the Southwestern United States, Mexico, Central America and Argentina have healthy javelina populations. Be alert while hiking near watering holes, empty river basins and animal food sources (such as prickly pear cacti).
Step 2
Avoid surprise encounters with javelinas. As they are attracted to areas with plentiful, lush food (like succulent plants and flowers), shelter and water, minimize things around your home that may attract them. Put up a fence, and clean up your yard of bird seed and pet food. Ensure watering hoses, bird baths and ponds are not accessible to a thirsty javelina. Pick up fallen fruit and nuts from gardens. Keep garbage cans sealed.
Step 3
Look for javelina tracks. As a member of the peccary species, javelinas have hooves. Their prints are evident in desert mud and sand.
Step 4
Never attempt to feed a javelina or any other wild animal.
Step 5
If you encounter a javelina, move slowly away from the creature. Keep your pets leashed at all times. Never corner a javelina. Make sure it has an escape route, and it will flee on its own if frightened.
Step 6
Make loud noises to alert the javelina of your presence. Although they have an excellent sense of smell, javelinas have poor eyesight. Clap your hands, stomp on the ground or scream your head off.
Step 7
Look for signs of potential aggression. A javelina that feels threatened may flatten its ears to its head, make growling noises, try to run away or charge. Be watchful of javelina young and herd members in the area.
Step 8
Contact the local wildlife control authority about troublesome javelina populations (such as Arizona Game and Fish Department). Professionals can help prevent javelinas from returning to a specific area (such as your neighborhood), and will capture an aggressive javelina as a last resort.
Step 9
Do not kill or injure a javelina. Although sometimes considered a big game species, the javelina may be protected by local laws and hunting regulations. Contact regional authorities for specific information.
 

Tips & Warnings

 
Landscape your yard with plants that do not attract javelinas. Hike in the morning, as javelinas are most active at dusk and nighttime. On very warm days, javelinas will be seeking shade, and may be lurking under bridges and overpasses.
 
Landscape your yard with plants that do not attract javelinas.
 
Hike in the morning, as javelinas are most active at dusk and nighttime.
 
On very warm days, javelinas will be seeking shade, and may be lurking under bridges and overpasses.

Don't Miss a Thing!

All our latest outdoor content delivered to your inbox once a week.

FREE UPDATES

Subscribe

We promise to keep your email address safe and secure.