There is an old saying,

"God created the Grand Canyon, but he lives in Sedona."

One trip to Sedona and you know it has to be true.

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Sedona's Javelina's

When you are in Sedona you may have the pleasure of seeing the famous pig-like desert cutie. They have wild hair, little beady eyes, stinky but they are just so adorable. Don't be surprised if you smell them before you see them wandering around the high desert areas like Sedona. They have a gland located under their tail and they use it to mark their territory.

In Sedona they are referred to as the "Javelina" which is a Spanish word "javelin" (pronounced: ha vel EEN) meaning "spear", which is because of their long, pointed canine teeth. Their other name is Collard Peccary. They are one of 3 species in the "New World". They actually aren't from Arizona. They are from South America and have wandered their way to Arizona via Mexico. They have found their home in Sedona for a couple hundred years.

They look like small, blackish, very coarse haired pigs, with chubby bodies ,short legs and tiny three-toed hooves. Their piglets look like domestic piglets except with a lot of hair.

They are social and forge for food in groups of 6-12 during the morning hours and then will nap under a tree during the day and then forge again in the early evening. They will scout out trash cans or flowers, gardens, seed pods or anything else they can eat. Their eye sight is poor so take it slow when driving through neighborhoods especially in the early evening since they are dark in color.

Now keep in mind, they might look fuzzy and cute but don't get too close. I have seen parents in parks let their kids chase ducks, squirrels, etc. If you tried this with a Javelina you would probably find yourself running for your life! If they feel threatened they will stamp their little feet, snort and clatter its jaws together and charge you if you get in their space. They have been known to kill small dogs and cats but they're vegetarian. So they only will react that way if they feel a threat. But from a safe distance, they can be observed without a problem.
Javelina are targeted for game hunters in Arizona. One look at them and you would wonder how could anyone possibly even think of killing one of these adorable animals. But then again I'm against hunting so for me unless you need food for survival then we should just let them be.

When we were in Sedona last we were driving around neighborhoods looking for homes for sale and we spotted a few groups. There was one baby that was so tiny that at first I didn't see it. (you can see it in the picture) They were forging around under a tree eating seeds from the seed pods that had fallen from the tree. They were so cute but we kept our distance and just zoomed up on them with the camera.

So next time you are in Sedona, take the time to go looking for these peaceful little piggies. Nature is our best gift, we just have to respect it.

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