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Keeping wildlife wild after javelines bite Sedona residents

Sedona AZ (March 27, 2018) The Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD) reminds residents not to feed wildlife.

The Game and Fish Department reminds everyone to stop feeding wildlife following two javelina attacks near Sedona last month. Both attacks were the result of people feeding javelina at their homes.

On February 5, 2018, Game and Fish received information that a 79-year-old woman was bitten by a javelina in a neighborhood southwest of Sedona. The attack occurred at around 4:00 p.m. at the woman’s residence, where she received severe bite wounds to her leg as she tried to stop the javelina from attacking her dogs.

A responding Game and Fish wildlife officer confirmed the woman was intentionally feeding javelina at her home.

The second incident occurred on February 25. The department received information that an elderly man was bitten by a javelina in Village of Oak Creek as he was feeding a herd in his backyard. When food wasn’t provided quickly enough, one of the animals became aggressive and bit the man in the leg. He was treated at a local Sedona emergency room and released. This victim has been going through the preventative rabies shot series.

These incidents placed the department in a very difficult position where it had to act immediately and consequently contracted with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services to conduct lethal removal of the javelina within a quarter-mile radius of the victims’ residences.

The decision to lethally remove the animals was based on the attacks, an imminent public safety threat created by intentional feeding, the habituation and loss of fear to humans by the javelina, and a concern for possible rabies.

Javelina (pl. javelines) 

A Sedona javelina had tested positive for rabies approximately eight months ago.

“The Game and Fish department strongly discourages feeding wildlife other than birds and tree squirrels,” said Scott Poppenberger, Arizona Game and Fish Department Flagstaff regional supervisor. “Wildlife feeding frequently creates dangerous situations for both wildlife and people, often setting the stage for attacks.” As wildlife are fed by people, they lose their natural fear of humans and become dependent on unnatural food sources. Feeding javelina places persons feeding, their neighbors, and the wildlife at risk.

The Game and Fish department is tasked with managing all wildlife in Arizona and working to ensure public safety. The department does not want to be in a position where it must decide to lethally remove wildlife due to irresponsible feeding, so please help to keep wildlife wild.

Animals removed by USDA Wildlife Services are sent to a laboratory for rabies testing. To date, test results received have been negative, some results are still pending.

To report unusual wildlife sightings and or behaviors, call your local Arizona Game and Fish Department office or the appropriate county community health services department. For more information, visit www.azgfd.gov.

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  1. Nat Eisenhower says:

    respect planet Earth and nature because I’m a transplanted Midwesterner and even I know when to leave wild animals to their own resources

  2. How Come? says:

    What the…..?? If Game & Fish shoot Javelinas for biting hands that feed them, then why don’t they shoot the people who shine laser lights into the USFS wilderness and frighten birds and wildlife there? Isn’t stupid stupid no matter what the activity?

  3. @How Come says:

    Let it go…
    Your obsessed with nonsense .

  4. How Come says:

    @How Come

    Thanks for having proven my point. You exemplify the stupidity of those in control of Sedona. Of course, that’s my opinion and apparently one that deeply offends you.
    If the shoe fits, wear it?? (hope it pinches, in more ways than one)

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