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12:53 AM Wed, Nov. 21st

Game and Fish Department says don’t feed the wildlife

Javelina can uproot vegetation and attack pets. <BR>Courtesy

Javelina can uproot vegetation and attack pets. <BR>Courtesy

SEDONA – The Arizona Game and Fish Department is reminding everyone to stop feeding wildlife due to two javelina attacks in February.

The first attack was Feb. 5 where a 79-year-old woman was bitten by a javelina as she tried to stop it from attacking her dogs.

According to the press release, the Game and Fish wildlife officer also confirmed that the woman was initially feeding the javelina at her home.

The second incident occurred Feb. 25 where a man was bitten by a javelina while feeding a herd of them. The javelina became aggressive when the food wasn’t provided quickly. The man was bitten on the leg and has been going through a series of rabies shot.

Due to both incidents, the animals had to be lethally removed. According to the press release, the department does not want to be put in the position to lethally remove wildlife due to irresponsible feeding.

“Wildlife feeding frequently creates dangerous situations for both wildlife and people, often setting the stage for attacks,” Scott Poppenberger, regional supervisor for AZGFD said.

When wildlife is fed by people animals lose their natural fear of humans and start to become dependent on unnatural food sources, according to the press release.

To report unusual wildlife sightings or behavior call the local Arizona Game and Fish department or the county community health services department.

For more information, visit www.azgfd.gov.

– Information provided by Arizona Game and Fish Department