Though some people may call them "cute", Javelinas are arguably rather ugly animals and possess a rather unpleasant odor which is why some people refer to them as "musk hogs". They aren't wild pigs but are actually members of the "peccary" family that originated in South America. They have become accustomed to being in close proximity to humans and will generally ignore people. If you try and approach them. they will simply leave the area, but if provoked and threatened they've been known to defend themselves with their long, sharp tusks.
Characteristics and Behavior
The colorization of the Javelina is peppered black, gray and brown hair with a faint white collar around the shoulders. When full grown they weigh between 35 to 60 pounds with males being slightly larger than females. Javelina become sexually mature at about 10 months of age and are capable of breeding at anytime of the year and can have two litters with a year. Newborn Javelina weigh about one pound and attain colorization at three months.
Their average live span in the wild is about 7.5 years although they've been known to live as long as 25 years in captivity. Javelina roam in herds of to 20 to protect themselves from predators that include mountain lions, bobcats and coyotes.
Javelina are most active at night and exist on a diet of flowers, berries, prickly pear cactus and plant life. Thet have a keen sense of smell but have very poor eyesight. Their odor comes from a scent gland on their backs and other members of the herd will rub each others scent gland to identify Javelina from different herds. Aggressive displays will be made to intruding Javelina.
Habitat and Territory Range
The primary habitat of the Javelina are the central and southern areas of Arizona in desert-like terrain near washes with dense vegetation. They are in abundance on the outskirts of Phoenix and Tucson and are found south of Flagstaff and Sedona. They have become accustomed to people and it isn't unusual for them to live within the desert areas just outside suburban communities. In fact, you can frequently see herds walking down neighborhood streets and foraging through garbage receptacles.