TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - It's a community in the middle of the city, near Miracle Mile and Fairview, with a wild problem: javelina.
It's one thing, they tell us, when the animals just eat their plants. It's another when they attack their dogs.
Eugene Olson contacted Nine On Your Side after a javelina that had been roaming the area for months had hurt one of his neighbor's pets.
"A javelina came up out of no where and attacked him," the dog's owner, Tina Lavallee, told 9OYS.
The dog had to get stitches, and still has battle wounds to prove it. Now, after multiple other close-call encounters, people in the community tell us, they're afraid.
"We carry a stick [when we go outside]."
"Some of them even carry sticks with razor blades."
"They're scaring the old people," Eugene said. "You just can't get rid of them."
They're worried the creatures will eventually attack a human, like a javelina did in an eastside neighborhood in August.
"But that's rare," Mark Hart with the Arizona Game and Fish Department said.
Hart told us javelinas are more prone to attack dogs because they think they're coyotes.
He said if you're walking your dog and see one, turn the other way immediately and make lots of noise.
"Javelina occasionally bite humans, but incidents of bites are almost always associated with people providing the javelina with food," according to the Game and Fish website.
But, if you're still uncomfortable with the javelina in your area: "Homeowners can have javelina relocated, as long as it's done in consultation with us by a certified contractor."
We gave the homeowners that information, which you can also find if you click HERE
Hart added that relocation doesn't always work, because javelina don't react well when dropped off in unfamiliar areas.
It can also be very pricey. But, some communites pool money together to pay for it.
If you want to try to get the animals out naturally, he recommends making the area uncomfortable for them to live in. Spray them with water or make loud loises whenever you see them.
- Don't feed javelina!
- Feed pets inside or only what they can eat at one time. Don't allow birdseed to fall to the ground and/or fence any bird feeding areas. Store birdseed, livestock feed, rodent bait and pet food inside. Do not leave quail blocks where javelina can access them. Pick up fallen fruit and nuts as quickly as possible.
- Keep water sources above the reach of javelina or behind strong fencing.
- Contain garbage and compost. Secure garbage cans with locking lids or by attaching to a fence or wall. Put garbage cans at the curb on the morning of pickup rather than the night before. Clean out cans with a bleach solution to reduce attractive odors.
- Landscape with plants that javelina do not want to eat. Their favorite plants are cacti, succulents, bulbs and tubers, and any plants that drops fruit or nuts. They will generally eat most tender, new plants. Javelina resistant plants
- Keep dogs on a leash and/or inside a fenced yard to prevent defensive attacks.
- Use fencing to deny javelina access. Electric fencing is the most effective around gardens; try a single strand approximately 8-10 inches above ground level. It is fairly inexpensive and can be obtained at farm and ranch supply stores. Check local ordinances before installing electric fencing.
- Use block walls or chain link fencing (4 feet tall) around the entire yard. Patch up defective fences and gates. Use a concrete footer buried 8-12 inches into the ground or electric fencing to prevent digging under. Check local ordinances before installing electric fencing.
- Use block or solid skirting for mobile homes, decks and trailers, or use electric fencing for a temporary fix. Block entrance holes to any crawlspaces after the javelina have left. (Spread flour on the ground at the entrance to check for footprints.)
- Look for products that can be used as helpful animal deterrents.
The neighborhood is now looking into their options.
They said, they don't want to hurt the animals, but after they attacked Tina's dog, she told us she agrees with most of her neighbors when she says,"I would just like the javelinas out of here."