When javelinas attack

Years ago, when my son was little, one of his favorite books was "Don't Call Me Pig!: A Javelina Story." It was a delightful little book all about javelinas, and how they aren't pigs, but, rather, collared peccaries. The javelinas in the book were friendly and approachable, and full of facts about themselves. "I'm an odd-looking creature." "My body is fit and muscular." "I live with lots of family members." "I'm shy." "It's true, I have bad eyesight." "My snout is tough as leather, both plants and fruit I eat." "I use my snout and teeth for digging, gobble roots and berries where they grow." The book never warns its reader, though, to stay away from javelinas because they can be very dangerous if alarmed or provoked.

Which leads me to this horrifying story. Over the weekend, there were two separate javelina attacks in the Tucson, Arizona area. AZCentral reports on an 11-year-old girl bit seven times while walking in the Catalina Foothills with her mother:

In their route, they ran into two javelinas so they turned around. Walking back, they encountered six more javelinas and at some point, the girl fell down and was bit seven times by one or more javelinas while she was in a fetal position, Hart said. Neighbors in the area started making noise to scare the javelinas away, which eventually worked.

In a separate incident, a woman who was on her way back from walking her dog was attacked by a javelina on Friday around 9:30 p.m. near La Cholla Boulevard and Magee Road.

I think if you leave the javelinas alone, you'll be ok—just have a healthy appreciation for how wild these beasts are. If you want to learn more about javelinas, here are a few videos to watch.