Thursday, August 21, 2014

Peccary

Peccaries (also known as Javalinas) look a bit like pigs, but are classified in a family of their own. They are found from the Southwestern United States through much of South America. Curiously, this Peccary, in the Big Bend National Park, is the first I have ever seen.

Apparently Peccaries usually travel in groups of up to a dozen—and even a herd of 50 has been reported. Single individuals are often old or sick. The animals are most active in the morning and evening, and tolerate high temperatures only poorly. They eat roots, fruits, cactus, insects, worms, and reptiles.

Peccaries are not dangerous, but should be respected. The whole herd can attack if one of the group is wounded. They can drive off dogs, coyotes, and bobcats. If fed, they can lose their fear of humans and can become a nuisance at campgrounds and are even becoming an “urban menace” (Desertusa.com).

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