Preventing javelinas from wreaking havoc on your pumpkins

Arizona Game and Fish is providing you with tips on how to protect your pumpkins from javelinas and other wild animals this Halloween.

TUCSON, AZ  – The hungry hordes will come for you this Halloween, if you aren’t careful.

Arizona Game and Fish said residents should remember Halloween pumpkins, as well as gourds or squash, attract wildlife when displayed outdoors.

“Javelina, coyotes, deer and even bears eat some of the vegetables that are part of traditional holiday displays,” said Regional Supervisor Raul Vega of Game and Fish in Tucson. “When displayed outdoors, they may attract wildlife to homes, potentially creating conflicts with people.”

The department recommends that jack-o’-lantern and cornucopias be displayed indoors, on window sills to be seen from outside if desired, and then discarded securely to help prevent encounters with foraging wildlife.

“Habituating wildlife to a human food source inevitably leads to conflicts with people and can result in serious harm in some cases,” said Urban Wildlife Specialist Locana de Souza of Game and Fish in Tucson. “

Furthermore, unintentional or intentional feeding can cause problems for wildlife, such as obesity and malnutrition, and promote the spread of disease.”

It is illegal to feed wildlife in Pima, Maricopa, and Pinal counties, with the exception of birds as well as tree squirrels, which are rare at lower elevations. The maximum penalty is a $300 fine. For tips on minimizing conflicts with wildlife, go HERE.