Arizona Game and Fish: Javelinas attracted to pumpkins

Posted at 5:41 PM, Oct 31, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-31 21:54:42-04

A pack of javelinas snacking on a pumpkin in the middle of the street might make you say, “Only in Arizona.”

"Earlier in the year I spotted them on Chandler Boulevard across from Pizza Hut,” said Maria Gudor, an Ahwatukee resident.

Ahwatukee neighbors living steps away from South Mountain have been spotting javelinas roaming around their streets often.

"My neighbors have reported that they have seen them and the coyotes ever morning and every evening,” said Marily Astroth, president of her homeowner’s association near Chandler and 40th Street.

She said the HOA board just had a meeting about the animals this morning to warn neighbors. With Halloween tonight, small trick-or-treaters will be out on the streets at the same time as the nocturnal animals.

The Arizona Game & Fish Department has some tips.

"If people see javelinas, they should really make themselves big, make a lot of noise,” said Amy Burnett, information and education program manager with the Arizona Game & Fish Department.

A neighbor reported to the Game & Fish Department that her small dog was attacked on Oct. 10 while walking in the wash directly behind Centennial Middle School.

Often, food left out for pets attracts the javelinas to neighborhoods. This time of year, it may be a certain Halloween decoration.

"If you leave pumpkins out, that draws them to our neighborhood. So we're asking homeowners to clean up right up after Halloween, whether it's candy or anything like that,” Astroth said.