Trail cameras are extremely useful to see what exactly is on your hunting property. When you’re setting them up, you never know what you might catch on camera.
This wildlife trail cam video was recorded by Tejon Ranch Conservancy biologist Ben Teton; it’s part of a long-term study of invasive feral pigs and their impacts on the native ecology of Tejon Ranch in California.
This video captures a cinnamon-colored black bear chasing after a drift of pigs wallowing in an upland spring. The bear grabs one of the piglets as it lets out an alerting scream to the lead sow (the matriarch of the group,) who returns in an attempt to fight off the bear and save her young.
It is unclear whether the pig was successful in her rescue attempt, however, it is important to appreciate how valuable a kill like that would be for the bear, especially during the dry summer months when food is scarce.
It’s extremely rare to capture an attack of this magnitude on the small frame of a trail camera, and an event as dramatic and illuminating as this is almost unheard of. This video not only shows the speed, power and ferocity of a hungry black bear, but also the tenacity and social fidelity of the group of pigs, particularly the sow, as she risks her life to literally wrench her offspring from the jaws of death.
Despite its graphic content, trail cam footage like this provides a rare and intimate look at what these animals face every day in their struggle to survive in the wild.