Javelina in Arizona Gets Trapped in Car, Takes It for a Drive

by Amy Myers
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It’s not uncommon that we hear about wildlife breaking into vehicles while the owner is away, but it’s not every day when the creature takes it for a spin. This is what an Arizona resident discovered when a javelina managed to find its way into their car.

Last week, Yavapai County deputies responded to a call in Cornville, a town ten miles south of Sedona, when a javelina decided to sneak into an open Subaru station wagon. Apparently, the owner of the vehicle left the hatchback open overnight. They had a bag of Cheetos stored somewhere inside, and along came a hungry javelina looking for a midnight snack. Javelinas are common in Arizona and venture as far north as Flagstaff. Despite their snouts, hooves and coarse fur, they are not members of the pig family. Rather, they are members of the peccary family, a group of hoofed mammals originating from South America.

These mammals tend to be between 40 and 60 pounds and stand at roughly 19 inches tall. While some Arizona residents may spot them during the daytime, they more frequently travel at night and are almost always in herds. They have a sharp sense of smell but poor eyesight which is likely why this Yavapai County one found its way into the back of a Subaru.

Take a look at this trail cam that caught a herd traveling during the daytime.

Javelina Escapes Arizona Car Without Any Significant Harm Thanks to Wildlife Officials

After chowing down on the Cheetos, the javelina became trapped when the trunk closed. Not surprisingly, the trapped animal panicked and tried to escape by chewing through a part of the dashboard. During the chaos, the javelina managed to bump the car into neutral and inadvertently drove down the street.

Thankfully, the car came to a natural stop and the animal inside came away without any injuries. Once Arizona officials arrived, they opened the car hatch and allowed the javelina to exit without any more difficulty. The hooved traveler then scampered back into the wilderness, hopefully finding its herd along the way.

Arizona wildlife officials urge residents to keep their space from javelinas and to abstain from feeding them. While relatively small, these animals tend to become defensive if they feel they are facing a threat. Additionally, pet owners should keep a sharp eye while walking their dogs or letting them outside, as dogs and coyotes are natural predators of the peccaries.

If Arizona residents see a javelina, they should make loud noises and throw small rocks in their direction to scare them off. Spraying diluted household ammonia (1 part ammonia, and 9 parts water) around the property will also help deter them from coming too close. And, finally, be sure you keep your car doors closed and locked overnight.

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