“If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” Wayne Dyer

As the weather cools down

As the weather cools down, Oro Valley residents are spending more time outside enjoying the beautiful desert we call our home. There’s nothing better than exploring the rugged vistas of Catalina State Park or petroglyphs at Honeybee Canyon, but it’s important that we keep in mind the unique native animals that share their home with us. With two javelina attacks in the past month in Tucson, and several incidents last fall in Oro Valley, it is essential to be prepared to encounter wildlife whether walking in a residential area or hiking.

After the recent incidents, the Arizona Game and Fish Department has offered advice for homeowners, asking that folks avoid leaving out pet food or garbage that can draw javelina to neighborhoods. With Halloween just around the corner, it’s important to remember that pumpkins left outside for decorations are a favorite snack for javelina too. Illegal feeding of wildlife will continue to draw javelina back to residential areas creating a dangerous situation for humans and javelina. We can take action to prevent attacks by securing all food and garbage around homes.

Dogs and dog walkers have been the target of several attacks and AZGFD suggests that javelina may be mistaking dogs for coyotes, which are their natural predators. While we can secure food sources to discourage wildlife in residential areas, preparing for an encounter is the next step to protecting your family and your pets.

Keep your eyes peeled when walking, and if you spot a javelina (or a pack of them), AZGFD suggests walking in the opposite direction, especially if you have a dog with you. Be aware and give javelina plenty of space to avoid an attack.

Prevention and preparation are key to coexisting with javelina and all of the incredible animals who share their desert home with us. Fall is the perfect time for outdoor adventures and with these great tips from AZGFD, we can help keep our community safe.