Javalina

The JAVELINA (COLLARED PECCARY) is not found in traditional Native American Art as it is a newcomer to the Southwest, having migrated from South America. It resembles a wild boar but is unrelated to the pigs. It has a heavily built body covered with coarse hair, a heavy snout, and a distinct collar of light-colored hair around the neck. These animals are common in the southern desert regions of Arizona, New Mexico and Texas, where they frequent the shrubby areas and canyons. They roam the desert in loose groups of 8 to 12 (but up to 30) individuals, each group being led by an older sow. They are territorial. Their favorite food is prickly pear and other fleshy cacti – they eat vast amounts of prickly pear pads and are undeterred by the spines. They also dig up roots and bulbs. Here at the church, we have close encounters with these night marauders as they love nuts and frequent our “back yard” when the pecans drop. They are nearsighted and timid, but can be frightening and dangerous, especially if you are in their path when they are running away from a real or perceived danger. Javelina babies are very small and cute, resembling puppies in size and “bark.”

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