HomeOutdoorsNewsStartling Footage: ‘Aggressive Black Bear’ Attacks Homeowner

Startling Footage: ‘Aggressive Black Bear’ Attacks Homeowner

by Jon D. B.
black bear night
Black bear raiding trash at night. (Photo By RJ Sangosti/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

California native Ryan Ballou has a particularly aggressive black bear residing on his property, and things got out of hand Saturday night.

Like so many of us, Ballou loves bears. But he also respects and fears what they’re capable of – as we all should. As night closed on March 11, he got a taste of why first-hand.

Out of nowhere, the bear Ballou typically watches from a distance charged his porch. As he stood filming with his phone through his front door, the bruin threw two big paws up against the glass in a bluff charge. Ballou caught it all on camera, and it is an intense sight:

The bear’s aggressive behavior continued throughout the night, charging the door and windows several times. As Ballou’s dog rushed to the front door in defense, it was accidentally knocked open. Ballou rushed to shut it, his arm thrust out to grab the handle, and so did the bear’s – catching his arm and drawing blood.

Ballou documents all of this on his Facebook page, Ballous Bears. And the culprit for the California black bear’s behavior is clear: trash.

In multiple videos, a pile of overflowing garbage bags is plainly visible on the front porch. This is not something Ballou does willingly, however. California’s intense snow and rain storms have held up his Brooktrails neighborhood’s trash service for weeks. And as it piles up, the bears flock to easy meals.

‘He is just a hormonal teenager and doing what bears do’

Local reporter Kym Kemp caught up with Ballou after that raucous Saturday night. Kemp’s first question was, of course, if Ballou has reached out to California wildlife officials to report the aggressive behavior.

“Nah, he has good and bad days. I’m not gonna rat his location out to fish and game. He is just a hormonal teenager and doing what bears do,” Ballou offered.

“I’m not friendly to him and I don’t encourage him to be here that’s for sure,” he continued. Either way, he admires the bear’s “tenacious spirit,” he says. ”He’s a clumsy jerk, but he’s okay.”

After Kemp’s media coverage, however, wildlife officials would come knocking anyway.

California Wildlife Officials Catch Wind of Aggressive Black Bear, Pay Ballou a Visit

“State folks came by and took DNA swabs of the bear sputter on our windows at our house,” Ballou posted to Facebook less than an hour before this article.

“That was pretty rad. They are doing their best to be proactive! Fantastic work to see. What a time we live in,” he adds of the event alongside footage.

The smudged paw prints of his local black bear can be plainly seen on his windows and front door, too. A few more full-bodied shoves and that glass would’ve come crashing in.

While Ballou’s initial intentions ring noble, it’s imperative to treat any habituated black bear as a potential threat. Even if you yourself don’t feel threatened enough to report an animal, it’s important to think of others living in your vicinity. There may be children around, elderly neighbors – or people who simply doesn’t want to be aggressively approached or potentially attacked by a bear. Pets are at great risk, too.

If you see any human-wildlife conflict in California, you can report the incident to Fish and Wildlife by submitting a Wildlife Incident Report here.

As for reducing attractants and helping to keep our wild black bears non-habituated, see our National Parks Journal: How to Be BearWise with Great Smoky Mountains’ Lead Wildlife Biologist next.