Sep 4, 2013 8:52 PM by Nathan O'Neal
TUCSON - Seven adult javelina were shot and killed after the herd recently attacked a woman in an east side neighborhood, Arizona Game & Fish officials said.
Arizona Game & Fish spokesman Mark Hart told News 4 Tucson that trained sharpshooters from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Wildlife Services conducted the kill Tuesday evening. They left three baby animals unharmed - which were not believe to have been involved in the attack.
Emilia Arana was the most recent victim of an attack by the herd in the Harold Bell Wright Estates area located near Wilmot and Speedway. She was attacked by several animals while walking a dog last week and suffered several bruises and cuts.
"I don't want them killed but their normal behavior toward humans has obviously changed," Arana recently told News 4 Tucson. "They're being the aggressors."
Emilia and other neighbors wanted the animals relocated but Arizona Game & Fish officials said that hardly ever works.
"Even if we had moved the javelina as some had suggested, the risk was that if they came in human contact again, there would be another attack," Hart said. That's why the state brought in professional sharpshooters from Wildlife Services to do the job.
"The operation was done quickly and humanely," Hart adding that both Tucson Police and neighbors were told of the decision to send shooters into the neighborhood - but Soleste Lupu, who has lived in the neighborhood since the ‘60s insists that she was never notified.
"I talked to several neighbors who were not aware of their choice to come in and kill ... I just can't tell you how upset I am," Lupu said. "It's unfortunate that people are injured in encounters but this is about encroachment into their habitat. We are going to have to learn to live with them and to kill every animal in the desert because it's an inconvenience or a nuisance is just not the answer."
Hart told News 4 Tucson that this is an unfortunate situation but it's not a good thing when javelina get too comfortable near humans. He recommends that if people do encounter a herd to do anything to scare them off - even making a lot of noise might do the trick.
The animals' remains will be donated to the University of Arizona for lab studies.
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