by Shawn Skipper - Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Human beings have run-ins with wild animals all the time, it's just inevitable. I've covered quite a few encounters in this very blog—we've talked about face-to-face showdowns with whitetail, elk, moose and bear these past few months alone. A out of Arizona, though, has introduced a new one for this blog: javelina.
According to a report from AZCentral.com, a Scottsdale woman was walking her 2-year-old pit bull early on Thanksgiving morning when the pair found themselves under attack by what's being described as a pack of javelinas. Before you panic, know that this story has a good ending—both the woman and her pet survived the encounter. But things got grisly.
Heidi Diedrich, reports say, was walking her dog JoJo—which she rescued from a shelter earlier this year—in a park near her home. It was still too dark for her to see anything, but she told officials that she heard hooves racing in her direction before being knocked to the ground by a still unseen animal. As she kicked at her assailants, JoJo got free from his collar and ran—taking the entire pack with him as he went. Diedrich later estimated that there had been five javelina in the group that attacked her. All of which took off, hot on the trail of her pet.
Diedrich, who heard the javelina catch up to her dog, remained on the ground, unable to see what was happening. She could hear it, though, and described it as "horrible." Some time later, JoJo returned. Whether or not he won the fight or just got away is kind of hard to say. He was alive and the javelina were gone, yes—but he was beaten and bloody.
Diedrich raced her dog to the veterinarian, where it was found that JoJo had sustained at least 10 different wounds from the tusks of his foes—one of which had left his stomach exposed. Nothing vital had been damaged, though, and, quite a few stitches later, the dog was relatively good-to-go. So long as none of the wounds become infected, he should be just fine.
As you might imagine, javelina attacks aren't particularly common. In most cases, the skunk pigs don't want anything to do with humans. That said, they do occasionally happen. A Tuscon woman was attacked last August. Much like Diedrich, she had a dog with her. As ever, dogs can be a trigger for wild animals, who can't really distinguish between tame house pet and predator.
In this case, I'm glad our canine protagonist will live to see another holiday. Diedrich credits JoJo with saving her life, so I think he can expect one heck of a Christmas present.
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