Skip to main content

Viral video shows what happens when curious bear tussles with territorial pigs

On an average day in New Milford, Connecticut, a Ring camera installed outside of a pig pen enclosure at Rebecca Shaw’s residence caught quite the spectacle. As the camera rolls, a large black bear leaps over the enclosure’s fence, landing inside the small pen. Seemingly without hesitation, the two pig residents of the enclosure go on the offensive, immediately plowing into the bear, who seems almost startled at the unexpected and aggressive opposition.

“I’m still in shock,” says Shaw, as she rewatches her two pigs, Hamlet and Mary, fend off the bear.

You have to see this to believe it, but yes, the two large pigs successfully run the bear back, until it lumbers back over the fence and to safety (tail figuratively between its legs).

The whole episode was aired on CBS and has been aired on affiliates all over the US, including CNN. Clearly, this bear picked the wrong pigs in the wrong pen to mess with that day. We love how the pigs go right back to eating happily in their enclosure as soon as the pesky bear is gone. The comments range from utter shock to laughter, with one common thread: don’t mess with pigs! And don’t mess with anyone’s food source! While we may have expected a video such as this to highlight the prowess and danger of wild bears, we instead received a lesson in pig aggression. Who could have guessed?

How likely is it to encounter a black bear?

Although we’re actually now more worried about encountering a pig in the wild, according to the National Wildlife Federation, black bears have a territory that includes most of North America, so it’s not necessarily uncommon for these encounters to occur in Connecticut and other semi-rural areas. Bears are omnivorous, which means they will eat a variety of things, including both plants and meat. It’s most likely the bear in the video was more interested in the pigs’ food than in eating the pigs themselves.

Still, if you encounter a black bear, the National Park Service (NPS) suggests keeping your distance and doing what you can to ensure you do not surprise the bear. Stay calm, make yourself look as large as possible, and pick up any small children or smaller domesticated animals, such as small dogs or cats. The old adage is true: black bears are usually more afraid of humans than humans are of them, so avoiding confrontation is key.

Likewise, domesticated pigs are usually placid animals, though rare aggression does occur against humans. It’s best to never jump into a pig enclosure if you are not familiar with the animals in question, as the bear in our video found out the hard way! In general, never get between any animal and its food, as the news anchors in Connecticut so eloquently pointed out! If you do see a bear (or a pig!) in the wild, give it a wide berth while catching the experience on video if you can do so safely.

Editors' Recommendations

Amy Hagstrom
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Amy Hagstrom is an editor for PawTracks and parenting site NewFolks and a freelance writer with bios in USA Today, US News…
What causes high pH in an aquarium? We’ll walk you through getting your tank levels in check
Try these 3 techniques to lower pH levels
Man working on aquarium

Keeping your pH consistent is a major part of a thriving aquarium. Too high or too low, and your whole ecosystem will be thrown out of whack. Generally speaking, the acceptable pH levels for an aquarium range from 6.8 to 7.8, with 7.0 being the neutral point. (Keep in mind your tank’s acidic or alkaline levels will go up and down pretty regularly, too.) What causes high pH in an aquarium? Here's the key information you need to know.

What is pH in Aquariums?
If you barely remember high school chemistry, you might be a little unclear about what pH even means and why it matters to your fish. First, know that we're actually looking at a measurement, which indicates the level of acidity or alkalinity of a liquid. Lower numbers mean more acidic and higher numbers, less.

Read more
What do painted turtles eat? This is the only feeding guide you’ll need
Find out what to feed them and what not to feed them
Painted turtle eats a mealworm

You bring home a little turtle to a beautiful habitat and realize you forgot one big thing: What do painted turtles eat? Because these turtles are an aquatic species, they spend most of their time in the water — both in the wild and in your house. This greatly impacts their diet, especially because as they consume meals, they must swallow under the surface.

Painted turtles are also omnivores and like a wide variety of foods. While many of these can be placed in their housing, you should also have a separate feeding tank, which will massively cut down on the mess. All food from the main tank will have to be scooped out daily; otherwise, it rots. Nevertheless, feeding your turtle can be fun, and occasionally they can even eat what you do.

Read more
Why do birds bob their heads? These are the reasons parrots and other birds do it
This behavior is a natural response
Parrot bobbing his head

Parrots are hilarious and clever birds that make for a wonderful pet. They will fill your home with well-timed squaws and maybe some funny catchphrases. They also have one of the most incredible body languages in the animal kingdom and are often recognized for their peculiar head bobbing.

Bird owners spend hours observing the many messages these guys send with their movements. So, why do birds bob their heads? We'll explain why parrots head bob and also why other types of birds do it as well.

Read more