Monday, August 17

Visited by a hungry bear!

Karla headed for Fresno at about 6 this morning, so it was up to me to feed the two horses living at our place. I walked down to the place where we keep their feed, the fenced-in solar panels that run our water pump. One of the horses was munching something on the ground, and a grain container was nearby, lying on its side and empty! How did a horse get that thing out of the enclosure, dump its contents on the ground, and toss it aside?

The tarp that covers the bales of hay was torn asunder, two bags of grain were ripped into, and another grain container was missing its lid.

Then I found a clue to what caused this confusing mess: a tall pile of nearly undigested wild berries was right in front of our fenced enclosure. Bear potty aka feces du ursus americanus californiensis. What a mess!
Don't these guys even chew? The berries are whole!

I drove the car down with some buckets I could use to recover what was left and usable. Meanwhile, our neighbor Stan arrived in his pickup for a few hundred gallons of water so he can keep things alive at his place. Turns out his well went dry, and getting it deepened is almost impossible since all the well drillers are booked up months in advance due to California’s drought. He helped me load the containers of grain in the car, and I took them to (hopefully) safer storage in our garage.


Susan said...

Ack! I hope this bear doesn't get too familiar. And the garage is safe from him/her. And you guys are too. All we have here is something (unidentified) living in our house walls. It makes a lot of noise at night scratching around. Because it is IN the walls and doesn't seem to leave any scat or smell (thankfully), we don't know what it is. Perhaps it is a rat or a small possum? We may never know, unless it chews its way into the house.

Stay safe.

Tom Hurley said...

It is extremely rare that people are molested by bears. At the high ranch, I once chased one away from our barbecue area. He ran up the hill, then turned around and hissed at me. I ran back inside and he took off up the hill. People commonly chase bears up trees. But if it's a HUNGRY bear, I'll hedge my bets!

Susan said...

I'm glad your bears are not a problem for you. I would never trust a bear. I remember bears at the Pine Point Zoo (aka garbage dump). We used to go out and sit in closed cars to watch them. Sometimes one would attack. To my knowledge no one was ever injured but people were usually not far from their cars and could beat the charging bear back inside. The most aggressive attack I knew of occurred when a man accidentally got between a mother bear and her two cubs. The man was unloading stuff from his car, and the cubs were playing while their mama foraged. While the man was working he lost track of exactly where the cubs were. Just as the man was getting back into his car, mama bear charged and swatted his car door shut for him. The cubs were on the other side of the car. I have heard stories about bears breaking in to abandoned cabins and trailers for food, too. These are black bears and brown bears I am talking about. Once we stayed in a camping site in a Canadian national park. There were signs up telling us not to feed the bears. We had supper and went to bed in our rented trailer. In the morning a park ranger came by to check a bear trap we knew nothing about. The trap was situated about 100 yards away from our site. There was a big 'ol bear in the trap. The ranger told us this bear had been terrorising campers and breaking into people's vans in search of food. The park authorities were going to relocate this bear so no one else would be 'bothered' by him. If that bear had not been trapped that night, maybe we would have been 'bothered' by him too. Sure, no one has been hurt around me, but bears still engender a healthy amount of respect in me! So take care!