Tucson woman bitten by javelina

Game & Fish urges people to follow law: Don’t feed wildlife

Woman bitten by javelina after feeding table scraps

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - It’s a common sight in the Painted Hills Estates neighborhood in west Tucson; javelinas frequent yards and roads, sometimes dozens at a time.

The wildlife is a draw for many residents.

“I enjoy nature sitting right here [on my porch] and having my trail cam take pictures at night and I can see in the morning what has gone through the yard,” said Elain Finner. “It’s really great!”A few doors down, it’s a similar story.

“Deer, coyotes, everything you can think of … bobcats,” said another woman, who wished to not be identified. “We really love the wildlife here.”

The woman has lived in her home for 30 years, enjoying all that nature has to offer. However, Sunday evening, nature got a little too close.

“I was walking to throw out the trash and it was already dark and I turned around very quickly so I startled the [javelina] and it bit me,” said the woman.

“We believe she got too close to a female javelina and its young,” said Mark Hart with the Arizona Game & Fish Department.

The woman was treated in urgent care and had to get a rabies shot. She is now recovering from a gash and bruising on the back of her thigh.

“It could have been worse if she hadn’t been wearing blue jeans,” said Hart. “Puncture wounds are common with javelina, their teeth are formidable.”

Hart believes the javelinas may not have been there if the woman hadn’t been feeding them from time-to-time. While her intentions were not bad, the woman says she has learned a lesson.

“I will be more cautious at night,” she said. “It’s against the law to feed the animals so I can’t do it anymore.”

“I’m glad she wasn’t seriously hurt, and I don’t think she will be feeding the javelinas anymore,” said Finner.

Hart says they have not cited the woman, but Game & Fish is urging people to follow the law.

With Halloween right around the corner, Hart says even leaving pumpkins out can land you a citation if it attracts wildlife.

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