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The Catalina Javelina

At my winter place, in Catalina, Arizona, we back up on a big ravine with a wash and many trees. Although the area is more urbanized than it used to be, we still have quite a few Wild Ones around, including many Javelina. These are often called "wild pigs" but are in reality collared peccary, a type of rodent. But their "wild boar" look and fearsome tucshes have earned them a reputation for being much fiercer than they really are. They are vegetarians: eaters of roots and soft plant material such as cactus fruit.

They often come up to the fence in back of the place, and chew and root around at the fence of big Luther Burbank Cactus that grows across the back behind the wire horse pasture fence. They run in groups and often when it's dry a whole family will come up. To save the cacti, I keep a big shallow pan of water back there now.

Their frequent trips to the fence gave me a chance to observe them closely, and I decided to sculpt one. And here he is! This turned out to be quite a challenge as I decided to make this a big sculpture. It is actually a construction, made of 9 pieces of redwood lumber scrap bonded together to make a big block and then carved. His tusks are carved individually from mesquite sticks and counter-sunk into his jaw. The piece was finished by painting with acrylic paint. He is @ 15" x 13" x 9". Below are two views. I posed the piece in front of the cacti the living models love to chew so well!