'Candy For Javelina': Halloween Pumpkins Can Attract Wildlife In Arizona Neighborhoods

By Nakiesha Johnson
Published: Monday, October 28, 2019 - 6:05am
Updated: Monday, October 28, 2019 - 7:50am

Heard of javelinas attracted by pumpkins left out
Arizona Game and Fish Department
Heard of javelinas eating pumpkins that were left out by residents.

Kids in costumes may not be the only creatures trolling for treats in your neighborhood this year.

Arizona Game and Fish Department officials are reminding people that outdoor Halloween decorations such as pumpkins can attract wildlife, even in urban areas.

“A ripened pumpkin sitting outdoors is like candy for javelina,” said Darren Julian, Game and Fish urban wildlife specialist, in an email. “Pumpkins and other edible decorations are easy meals for wildlife and often attract javelina, coyotes, deer and even bears."

That’s why officials says pumpkins should be kept out of reach.

"Make sure that they’re high enough off the ground so that way, wildlife can’t get them, maybe on top of a rock wall," said Nathan Gonzalez of Game and Fish. "Ideally the safest bet would be to try to display your jack-o-lantern in your front window where they’ll be visible from the street."

The department also reminds the public that intentionally feeding most wildlife in Pima, Maricopa and Pinal counties is illegal and can lead to a public safety hazard. 

Wild javelinas eating rotting pumpkin
Arizona Game and Fish Department
Javelinas eating pumpkins left out at a Sierra Vista home.

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