While growing up, I read a constant litany explaining that Javelina's were not dangerous. I read, over and over, that all the old stories of them attacking humans were old wives tales, not documented, never happened.
So, I was a bit surprised to come across a news article from the 7th of May, 2016, that had hard evidence of an unprovoked real world attack by a herd of javelinas. It was life threatening for an adult human with two leashed dogs. From fox10phoenix.com:
The victim told authorities that a herd of javelina came out of a nearby wash, crossed the road, and attacked her and her two leashed dogs unprovoked.
Arizona Game & Fish spokesperson Amy Burnett says the woman lost her footing and fell to the ground as two of the javelina began biting her. The victim's husband and a neighbor helped to free the woman from the animals on the attack, and they brought her to safety using a two-by-four plank while the javelina continued to chase her down and attack her dogs.It should have been a defensive gun use (DGU). In Arizona, no permit is needed to put a pistol in your pocket when you go for a walk.
The woman suffered several bites on her upper body and neck area. She had to undergo surgery, and is receiving rabies treatment as a precaution.
A large javelina will run 40 pounds. Any firearm can put them down. A good friend in Panama shot one with a .22 short out of a single shot rifle. It went down decisively. I was very impressed with the power of a 29 grain bullet at 1,000 feet per second. It went through the skull, through the neck, through the vitals and ended up in the rear thigh, shot front to rear.
The rifle was equipped with a homemade silencer that took 30 minutes to build. The loudest sound was the sound of the bullet impacting the target. .22 shorts out of a rifle are fairly quiet to begin with.
The words that the Game and Fish and the reporter use to blame humans for the attack are strained. The woman "lost her footing" instead of being knocked down. Game and Fish have information that a "contributing factor" was human feeding of javelina's, because people reported that people were illegally feeding javelinas in the area as recently as two months ago! From the article:
Game and Fish says two people in the nearby area were reportedly feeding javelina and coyotes as recently as a couple of months ago.Another article says attacks on humans by javelinas are "rare". Hmmm. I thought they never happened! A game camera at my ranch showed a javelina a couple of months ago. The potential of animal attacks has always been a good reason to go about armed. Lots of animals are dangerous in some circumstances. Now we can add another one to the list.
©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.
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