An Oro Valley woman was knocked to the ground and bitten by a javelina Tuesday night while walking her dog, officials said.
This is the third javelina-related injury in Tucson in a year, after an Oro Valley resident was hurt in March and an eastside resident was injured May 1, both while walking their dogs, according to a news release from the Arizona Game and Fish Department.
The woman was attacked at about 9:30 p.m., near East Crown Ridge Drive and East Royal Ridge Drive. She was knocked over while trying to avoid two javelina attacking her dog and suffered a minor puncture wound to her left shoulder from one of the javelina, the release said.
She was treated at an Oro Valley hospital and released.
“Walking your dog at night is a recipe for a confrontation with javelina, so try to avoid doing so," Regional Supervisor Raul Vega said in the release. "If you see javelina while walking your dog, go in the opposite direction."
Javelina can't tell the difference between dogs and coyotes, which prey on javelina. As a result, javelina react instinctively to dogs, Vega said.
“The presence of dogs is the second leading cause of injuries to humans by javelina, which are rare but can be serious," Vega said. "The leading cause of such injuries is feeding javelina, which is illegal.”
Dogs and javelina can seriously hurt or kill each other if allowed to interact. When javelina become defensive, their behavior may include charging, teeth clacking or a barking, growling sound, the release said.
Javelina also may react defensively to protect their young or when they are cornered, the release said.