FOUNTAIN HILLS - Arizona Game and Fish workers say a Fountain Hills woman was attacked by a javelina while walking her dogs on Saturday evening.
The victim told authorities that a herd of javelina came out of a nearby wash, crossed the road, and attacked her and her two leashed dogs unprovoked.
Arizona Game & Fish spokesperson Amy Burnett says the woman lost her footing and fell to the ground as two of the javelina began biting her. The victim's husband and a neighbor helped to free the woman from the animals on the attack, and they brought her to safety using a two-by-four plank while the javelina continued to chase her down and attack her dogs.
The woman suffered several bites on her upper body and neck area. She had to undergo surgery, and is receiving rabies treatment as a precaution.
Game and Fish workers say they have strong evidence that illegal feeding of wildlife was a contributing factor in this attack. Game and Fish says two people in the nearby area were reportedly feeding javelina and coyotes as recently as a couple of months ago.
Workers say that six javelina were "lethally removed" for public safety reasons, in light of the recent attack. Burnett says that while attacks on humans are rare, but when they break out, the safety of the public is their main concern.
Burnett says it is important to never feed wildlife, and to keep a safe distance away and avoid interaction.