Woman mauled by herd of skunk pigs while walking dogs

Javelinas or collared peccaries are native to Central an South America and in parts of southwestern North America. Photo / Getty
Javelinas or collared peccaries are native to Central an South America and in parts of southwestern North America. Photo / Getty

It looks like the love child of a hyena and a wild boar, with a dose of wombat thrown in.

It's a javelina, also known as a peccary or skunk pig thanks to its horrid odour and it belongs to the Suina family (a pig subgroup) - so it's not really even a proper pig.

These beasts are bizarre looking and are found throughout Central and South America and America's southwest, where they are hunted for sport.

Although javelinas have enormous jaws and razor sharp teeth, they are not known for attacking humans, which is why locals were so shocked when a woman walking her dogs in Arizona almost died after being mauled by a herd of them.

The Fountain Hills woman had her pets on leashes the night of April 30 when a large group of javelinas crossed the road and charged them, according to the Arizona Game and Fish Department.

The woman was knocked to the ground and set upon by two javelinas that "tore at her neck and upper body with their teeth", the department said in a statement.

Game and Fish spokeswoman Amy Burnett said a neighbour and the woman's husband tried to free her from the animals' jaws while four other javelinas continued to chase her dogs.

The woman underwent surgery and remains in hospital in a serious condition. One of her dogs also required surgery for its wounds.

"We are fortunate that the attack was not worse," Ms Burnett said. "Attacks by javelina on humans are rare, but when they happen, public safety is our main concern."

The woman underwent surgery and remains in hospital in a serious condition. One of her dogs also required surgery for its wounds.

"We are fortunate that the attack was not worse," Ms Burnett said. "Attacks by javelina on humans are rare, but when they happen, public safety is our main concern."

The woman is being treated for rabies as a precaution, Ms Burnett said.

All six were "lethally removed" and their remains will be tested for rabies and other potentially transmittable diseases, she said.

Since the attack, wildlife officials have determined that people living in two nearby homes had been intentionally feeding javelinas and coyotes in recent months, which Ms Burnett said could account for their aggressive behaviours.

- news.com.au

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

© Copyright 2017, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf05 at 24 Mar 2017 10:22:04 Processing Time: 751ms