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More Peccary Love

Sunday, April 17, 2011

While the collared peccary is to be reckoned with when protecting its young, the larger white-lipped peccary is dangerous at any time, and I’ve heard stories of people treed for hours by a herd of white-lips. Perhaps it’s knowing that they’re dangerous that makes me appreciate petting these tame javelinas. "Javelina" refers to the spear-tip canines you'll see in a moment.


I love this photo, their crooked little incisors and pink medallion noses.


For their part, they seem to think my Snickers bar pieces are bits of heaven. Those who haven’t had one stick their nose discs right in the mouths of those who have, inhaling the chocolate scent, then turning to me with inquisitive nostrils.



When the treats are gone,  they wander off and lie down, and one yawns widely before he puts his head 
between his front feet, doglike. He's getting sleepy.



Every time I look at this photo I yawn.


I peek inside his pink mouth and see two-inch-long tushes, ivory white, razor sharp, lying at a 45-degree angle to his lower jaw, and wonder at my own temerity, massaging their ears and muzzles, cheerfully inviting a severed wrist. Holy tropical pork. I'm glad I've already done my javelinafondling for the day.


Looking at him dozing there, missing Chet Baker something awful, I know I'd do it again. Oh, how I want to cut a hole in their enclosure. 

In another life I'd be a socially irresponsible ecoterrorist.




See those bony projections just below the wire? Yowza. Fools go where angels dare to tread. 

This is how I go through life, trusting animals I shouldn’t, crooning to them, petting them, sniffing my fingers to catch their scent. Just for those moments, I’m making some kind of connection, reaching a caring hand across the species gap. I have been bitten before and will be bitten again, but for this golden green afternoon, I’m spared, left to love again.


Candid ambush photo of Zick getting all handfunky by Colene McKee, with thanks to her and Bill for this, the groovy little travel mugs, the yummy rum and conversation. We had some fun, didn't we?

8 comments:

Love your writing stories!

Yes, we had lots of fun - one of my favorite trips ever. Honduras is such a great destination for tropical everything - birds, mammals, plants, bugs, and on and on. I'm having a great time reliving it through this series of posts. I remember these guys, the Snickers, the smell! You do such a good job with all your stories - always with wonderful pics. Thanks so much!
P.S. Recently we were in Paraguay and almost bumped into a herd of about 30-40 white-lipped peccary (later caught on night-camera). Cue: shivers with dread.

I love volunteering with the local young birders walks. Our group has loaner binoculars and field guides so the kids get a first class experience. I'll even let some of the kids carry my scope. They seem to relish in an adult trusting them with the responsibility. Seem to have forgotten how to find the birds. They are flying farther away and they are smaller than they used to be. I teach a variety of field classes for elementary and middle school students at an outdoor education center, but birds class is by far my favorite.Thanks for sharing…
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Enjoying the pictures and Science Chimp view of Honduras. Susan Eo

Posted by Anonymous April 18, 2011 at 4:23 AM

So how many playful peccaries ought a painter pet when penning a post about peccaries?
...just pondering

Javelina "piglets" are adorable! But I didn't know about the "horny projections."

I'll probably never get to Honduras but love seeing it through your eyes. But we do have javalinas in Texas. One very friendly one used to visit the picnic area and beg for food at Aransas NWR, the winter home of the whooping cranes.

We too had javalina at Laguna Atascosa NWR in south Texas, where we once lived. Little twerps decimated my cactus garden at every opportunity, but were for the most part a delight. (Especially the "wee-wee-wee" ones.)

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