Thursday, December 21, 2006

Peccary in the Amazon

I've recently been asked whether Amazon boars were dangerous. Having been around small, medium and large groups, some of whom were familiar with hunters, some not, I thought it was an interesting question. Here's my answer:

Both the sahino, the small (15 kilo) boars and the wangana, large (white collared peccary at 25 kilos) are potentially dangerous if you interrupt feeding by startling them, generally done by shooting off a shotgun. THose familiar with hunters will generally flee, sometimes haphazardly. Large groups, I've seen them up to 100, who are not familiar with hunters, will go so crazy on
hearing a shotgun and in their insanity/fear will run amok, and in that case are very dangerous, simply because of their weight/muscle/fear/tusks. I've seen half-a-dozen hit the same tree and take it down by sheer force.
So they're not dangerous, in my experience, from aggression, but they can be very dangerous when running wildly. And I can only imagine being a human caught under a stampede of 20-30 of them, all tearing at you with their tusks as they ran over you with their small, bone breaking sized hooves.
Personally, I've always been more fearful of hooves than tusks. Tusks can gore and core you. But their hooves are not like a horse or mule or cattle: Large enough to distribute weight. The peccary's have these dainty freaking one-and-a-half-inch hooves that I believe would simply cut
through your stomach/back if they ran on you. No scientific basis to that, just my feeling, having looked at hundreds of the sharp, little double-edged hooves.


John Baxter said...

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