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Wild javelina destroys car to get to Cheetos, Arizona police say. 'Can you blame him?'

USA TODAY logo USA TODAY 4/13/2022 Brock Blasdell and KiMi Robinson, Arizona Republic

PHOENIX — A wild javelina's recent hunt in Arizona did not go according to plan.

The animal – which, for the uninitiated, looks like a wild boar but is in fact its own species – can be found in central and southern Arizona and parts of Texas.

The creature was successful in its pursuit of an open bag of Cheetos inside a car parked on April 6, but its troubles started when it hopped in through the hatchback of a Subaru and accidentally locked itself inside the station wagon in the process.

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The hungry javelina was freed safely, according to the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office.

How did the javelina get stuck in the car?

Deputies said the furry intruder was eyeing a bag of Cheetos that night when it jumped inside the vehicle's hatchback which was left open overnight. 

The javelina lacked the stealth it showed in sneaking inside the vehicle with its attempt to get out of the car. According to the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office, the animal rocked the passenger car upon entry, causing the back entrance to close, locking it inside with its snack.

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Once locked inside, deputies said the javelina began feasting upon the cheese-dust-covered snack until the bag was clean. Soon after finishing, he tried to escape but had trouble leaving the vehicle. 

"His attempt to exit the vehicle proved to be more cumbersome than entering," reads the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office's statement. "The javelina tore off a portion of the dashboard, the passenger door interior and knocked the vehicle into neutral, which caused it to roll out of the driveway and across the street until stopping under some trees."

Thankfully, a deputy on site was able to open the hatchback up again, allowing the javelina to jump out and run back into the wilderness. 

'Who doesn't love a midnight Cheeto snack?'

Some neighbors noticed the plight of the trapped javelina and called the authorities. 

"I don’t know that we’ve had a call like this before," Heidi Howard, the sheriff's office public affairs officer told The Arizona Republic, part of the USA TODAY Network, in an email. "It’s not typically something folks will call (law enforcement) for."

Deputy Dickinson, who was called to the scene to investigate, "safely opened the hatch, allowing the javelina to carefully jump out and run off back into the wilderness," according to the sheriff's office. 

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All that it left behind was a bag of Cheetos that was licked clean.

"Can you blame him?" reads the department's Facebook post. "Who doesn’t love a midnight Cheeto snack?

Despite the damage to the vehicle, YCSO officials said no one, human or animal, was hurt during the incident.

Though javelinas enjoy fresh produce such as fruits, roots and prickly pear, they aren't afraid to get down and dirty in some garbage. YCSO reminded the public not to feed any wild javelinas as that could increase the chances of them roaming back into residential neighborhoods.

Follow breaking news intern Brock Blasdell on Twitter: @BrockBlasdell and entertainment reporter KiMi Robinson on Twitter: @kimirobin.

This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Wild javelina destroys car to get to Cheetos, Arizona police say. 'Can you blame him?'



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