One of the United States’ most scenic golf courses is being taken over by some ravaging pig-like animals that seem bent on overrunning the course with carnage. Seven Canyons is no longer a flawless beautiful course as it used to be.
Each day, there’s a new level of destruction on the course. The wild creatures leave mounds of scattered grass all across the 7,000-yard like a drilling project was in progress. Growling and digging their hooves into the earth, they ruin the picturesque fairways.
What creature is responsible? The pig-like animals are known as ‘Javelinas.’ They look like pigs but have big sharp canine teeth that they use to cause chaos. “When you come upon them and see them, it’s like the Tasmanian Devil,” said Dave Bisbee, the general manager of Seven Canyons, as he described the extent of the damage.
“There’s turf flying all over the place, there’s grunting, there’s fighting. For rather small creatures, they do a lot of damage… It is really disturbing when you see it.”
Javelinas are also known as musk hogs or collared peccary. They originally originated from South America before they migrated up North to Arizona and other Southwestern parts of the United States.
Javelinas could grow up to four feet long and 19 inches tall. According to the Arizona State Department of Game and Fish, they typically weigh between 40 and 60 pounds, and they live for an average of seven years. Also, Javelinas are herbivores but occasionally snack on insects and worms.
Seven Canyons is located at Vermilion Cliffs and is surrounded by the Coconino National Forest. It is a private course with rich vegetation and multiple pools of water. For the Javelinas, the Seven Canyons presents as an all-you-can-eat buffet.
Unfortunately, when the Javelinas are done ravaging through the turf, what they leave behind is a tough salvage job for the landscapers. In this case, some diplomacy and finesse has to be applied to get rid of the animals and save the course because it is illegal to injure or kill Javelinas. The state laws classify them as big game species.
However, the staff of the once pristine fairways are doing what they can to mitigate the damage as the non-growing season looms. They’ve tried fixing gaps in the perimeter fence, which the javelinas could use to gain access. The manager, Bisbee, estimates that damage control and repairs could cost the Seven Canyons more than $500,000 in total.
The assistant superintendent of the course, Emily Casey, recently took to X (formerly Twitter) to post a 30-second clip of the extent of damage the Javelinas caused during their latest visit to the club. In the caption, she wrote, “What should be one of the most beautiful courses in the country is being destroyed by a herd of Javelina. If anyone has a contact in AZ state govt that can help us find a solution please pass it along.”