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    07 November 2023

    A Golf Course in Arizona Faces Invasion by Pig-Like Creatures

    Mysterious Noises and Destruction: The Enigma at Seven Canyons Golf Club

    As the night falls over the breathtaking landscape of Seven Canyons golf club, a strange symphony fills the air – growling echoes, clacking teeth, and the thunderous rumble of hooves. Unbeknownst to many, this scenic golf course harbors an enigma that has captivated both locals and internet users alike.

    The morning sun reveals a sight that defies belief – mounds of ravaged turf scattered across the otherwise pristine fairways like open wounds on an untouched canvas. The culprits responsible for this chaos are none other than javelinas – pig-like creatures with raking canine teeth who have become notorious viral sensations in the town of Sedona.

    “When you come upon them and see them, it’s like encountering The Tasmanian devil,” describes Dave Bisbee, general manager of Seven Canyons. “Turf flies all around as they grunt and fight each other. For their small size, they can cause significant damage.”

    Javelinas, also known as collared peccary or musk hogs, belong to a mammal species originating from South America but have ventured into Arizona and other Southwestern states in the US. Dressed in gray-black fur adorned with a distinctive white collar, these creatures measure three to four feet long and stand at approximately nineteen inches tall. With an average lifespan of seven-and-a-half years weighing between forty to sixty pounds.

    Featuring a predominantly herbivorous diet, javelinas munch on cacti, bulbs, and various plants. However, their menu can include more unconventional delicacies such as garbage and insects. Unfortunately for the staff at Seven Canyons golf club, they have developed a taste for earthworms.

    The private course, nestled at the base of Vermilion Cliffs and surrounded by Coconino National Forest, presents an all-you-can-eat buffet for these creatures seeking to fatten up before winter sets in. The nutrient-rich fairways and abundant water hazards prove irresistible to the javelinas.

    Javelinas are not strictly nocturnal but become most active after dark. They form herds or squadrons ranging from twenty-five to thirty-five members that comb through expansive areas of turf in search of their midnight feast.

    This year has presented additional challenges due to an extra-hot summer coupled with bone-dry conditions across Arizona. Although Bisbee has encountered peccaries multiple times during his two-decade tenure at the golf club, this period without rain between May 20th and August 20th has escalated javelina activity exponentially.

    Efforts to salvage the damaged areas resemble fixing oversized divots on a golf course – turning over the turf, applying top dressing materials, and seeding new grass into existing patches. However, this process is time-consuming given its scale.

    A Legal Conundrum: Conservation Measures vs Preservation

    Javelinas are classified as big-game species under state law in Arizona. This classification means it is illegal to injure or kill them even if they cause problems like damaging property or landscapes – including golf courses like Seven Canyons. The Arizona Game and Fish Department views removal as a last resort since relocating these creatures often leads to their demise. Separated from their herds, they struggle to find food, water, or shelter and become prime targets for predators.

    As a result, the club advises against feeding these animals and advocates using fences and walls as deterrents to keep them away from vulnerable areas.

    Beyond implementing fencing measures, the staff at Seven Canyons has banded together to address breaches as they occur. However, there is an underlying sense of trepidation in dealing with this ongoing conundrum.

    A Battle Against Nature: Balancing Preservation and Recreation

    The clash between man-made recreational spaces like golf courses and nature’s inhabitants is not a new phenomenon. The story of Seven Canyons Golf Club serves as a reminder that preserving natural habitats while providing enjoyable experiences for humans can be challenging endeavors.

    Nonetheless, amidst the struggles faced by golf course management teams across Arizona who grapple with these tenacious grazers wreaking havoc on fairways and greens alike – it is worth appreciating the unique character that javelinas bring to this beautiful desert landscape.

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