Javelinas are a common sight around the Tucson area. 

A javelina bit a woman near her home on Tucson's west side after she intentionally fed it, wildlife officials say.

The woman was treated and released from an urgent care facility on Sunday night. According to Arizona Game and Fish Department spokesman Mark Hart, department officials recommended she receive a rabies shot.

The woman was a "habitual feeder of javelina," Game and Fish said. She may have been feeding them near her home, near West Speedway and North Painted Hills Drive, for years, Hart said. 

Hart said intentionally feeding javelinas is the leading cause of javelina bites in Arizona.

It's illegal to feed wildlife in Pima, Maricopa and Pinal counties. Doing so can result in a maximum $300 fine, he said. 

No citations have been made at this time, but Sunday's case is still under investigation. 

Officials recommend displaying decorations inside instead, such as on a window sill where they can still be seen from outside. 

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"Habituating wildlife to a human food source inevitably leads to conflicts with people and can result in serious harm in some cases," Urban Wildlife Specialist Locana de Souza previously said in a press release. "Furthermore, unintentional or intentional feeding can cause problems for wildlife, such as obesity and malnutrition, and promote the spread of disease."

Continually feeding food to wildlife can also make them not want to eat food that they find in the wild, Hart added.

 

Contact reporter Gloria Knott at gknott@tucson.com or 573-4235. On Twitter: @gloriaeknott

Metro Producer

Gloria is a Tucson native and attended the University of Arizona. She started at the Star as an apprentice in 2017. Following her apprenticeship, she began freelancing until becoming a full-time reporter and producer after her college graduation in 2018.