After generations of toiling in obscurity, the javelina is on the fast-track to fame thanks to a new viral video.
Although much less high-profile than pigs, many who’ve lived or vacationed in sunny Arizona have surely happened upon a pack of these lumbering boar-like creatures in the wild.
Guess what? These formerly low-key critters are way faster than they look.
A clip of one javelina hauling ass down a Tucson street was posted recently on Facebook — and locals are freaking out over the “when pigs fly” moment.
“Omg! I had no idea javelinas were this fast! If I ever get chased, it’s a wrap!,” Tucson resident Michelle Stewart posted Tuesday on Facebook, echoing the shocked sentiments of many other Southwest residents.
On Wednesday morning Stewart followed up with, “I had a nightmare about a javelina.😭”
The speeding incident, captured by local realtor Damion Alexander near East 22nd Street and Kolb Road, garnered more than 62,00 views before it was shared by local FOX 11 reporter Hanna Tiede, who racked up an additional 4.6 million views as of Wednesday morning.
One quick-thinking Twit wit even revamped the video into a “Chariots of Fire” slo-mo moment.
Note: Despite their porky appearance, experts say these rising animal stars are not pigs — nor boars.
Perhaps previously best-known to mass audiences for a stuffed cameo in the Wes Anderson film “The Royal Tenenbaums,” the javelina species is actually designated as a “collared peccary or musk hog,” the Arizona Game and Fish Department reports.
These herbivores travel in herds of up to nine members and feast on cacti, insects, fruits and seeds in Arizona, Texas, New Mexico and Argentina.
Javelina sport short coarse “salt and pepper colored” hair, stumpy legs, and a pig-like nose, according to the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. Also, the scruff around the neck/shoulder area is lighter in color “giving it the look of a collar.”
But don’t mistake these creatures as cuddly: Javelina have long, sharp canine teeth that protrude from their jaws about an inch.
However, they are smart: Museum reps report that javelinas sport a scent gland on the top of their juicy rumps, which they use to communicate with others. Local wildlife experts also say the javelina has lived up to 24 years in captivity, but the average life span is closer to 8 years.