--2 Española javelina thriving
Aug. 19, 2017

Española javelina thriving

Baby pigging out on mealworms, milk

March 11, 2011, 1:00 am
By Wren Abbot

The Wildlife Center in Española's new baby javelina "won't be cute for long," warns wildlife rehabilitator Alissa Mundt.

"He's going to be a handful," she says.

The five-week-old collared peccary, commonly known as a javelina, is very energetic and constantly hungry despite being fed every two hours, Mundt says. He's getting a diet of animal milk formulas specially calibrated by nutritionist Kerrin Grant, plus fruit, vegetables and mealworms. When he was originally brought into captivity by animal rescuers near Hatch, the javelina weighed 3.6 pounds. As of this morning, he was tipping the scales at over 5 pounds. How does his fur feel when staff pick him up to weigh him?

"Kind of like you would picture a regular pig, kind of bristly," Mundt says.

Things aren't totally harmonious between Wildlife Center staff and their new charge—and they mean to keep it that way, for his own safety once he's released. He already knows how to use the big teeth visible in the picture of him yawning, and tries to bite, Mundt says.

"All young mammals run the risk of imprinting, of looking at you as though you’re the parent," Mundt says. "That bond can get really strong, and you can't release animals like that because they’re going to start running up to people...javelina already are especially aggressive and males are definitely aggressive. We’re not oohing and aahing and cuddling him."

(SFR feels that Wildlife Center staff are showing amazing restraint in that regard.)

Center staff don't have a lot of information on the javelina's early history—his mother was found dead and is rumored to have been hit by a car, but that's not confirmed. Javelina typically give birth to twins, but this one's brother was never found. Mundt says they are getting a mirror to put in with the baby so he can recognize his own species. 

In addition to "little grunting noises," (aww!) the javelina makes it well known when he's ready to eat.

"He’s hungry all the time and he’s very, very loud," Mundt says. "He lets out this god-awful squeal."


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