Javelinas Hacking Up Golf Course in Search of Water and Food

Nov 2, 2023

Any hacker can easily land a hole-in-one at the Seven Canyons Golf Club in Sedona, Arizona. It just might not be in the ones that count. That’s because hungry javelinas are tearing hundreds of new holes all over the course.

Drought and heat are driving herds of the small boar-like creatures onto the well-groomed fairways. And they're digging for grub-worms, earthworms, and moist tubers in the soil. They're turning large swaths of turf into a deep and wide rash of divots. Many web viewers who’ve seen viral videos of the javelinas' work are rooting for them.

“Imagine getting upset at a bunch of Round Bois because you decided to make an ecologically dead landscape that wastes water for one of the world’s most boring sport(s) in the middle of a desert,” One X user posted on the platform formerly known as Twitter.

Links-lovers would dispute the latter feelings. But they’ve been plastered all over social media by #TeamJavelina. Many ecologists would say the group has a point. Golf course buildout is wiping out these animals’ habitats. They include deserts, grasslands, and forests. Golf courses also use undue amounts of water. As many as a half of Arizona's golf courses routinely surpassed their water limits between 2002 and 2022. This was cited by The Arizona Republic.

And what happens when you add 2023's perfect lack of storms? Parched conditions are driving the musk hogs to where the water and the juicy crawling things are.

Meanwhile, groundskeepers are putting in lots of work trying to chase the critters away. They're also patching the carnage they leave behind. Perhaps the strongest pig-stopper they've unearthed is chili oil. The beasts, perhaps ironically, can’t stand the hot spice.

Photo from Unsplash courtesy of Dulcey Lima.

Reflect: How can we ensure that outdoor recreational activities coexist harmoniously with wildlife that may be affected by such developments?

The author uses a cause and effect text structure throughout the story in order to _______. (Common Core RI.5.5; RI.6.5)
a. describe the appearance and behavior of javelinas
b. provide a detailed comparison of golf courses and deserts
c. educate readers about the unique wildlife in Arizona and the effects on climate change on various habitats
d. explain the reasons behind the javelinas' intrusion and its consequences on the golf course
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