HomeOutdoorsWATCH: California Bear Bites Camper in Bizarre Interaction on 4th of July

WATCH: California Bear Bites Camper in Bizarre Interaction on 4th of July

by Jon D. B.
(Photo by: Ron Reznick/VW Pics/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

These Mount Wilson campers ended up fending off a cinnamon black bear for their Fourth of July, with the animal going straight for one man’s leg.

Californians know they live with black bears. It’s a fact of life for much of the U.S., especially as all bear species’ numbers continue to increase. But no one would expect what happens in this intense footage.

Initially sent to Los Angeles’ Fox News 11, the clip shows a group of California men enjoying an Independence Day camping trip above scenic Mount Wilson. Then, straight out of the dry bush, a young black bear, cinnamon in color, charges directly for the group.

The behavior is unusual, especially when considering the amount of fully-grown adults present. Bears of all shapes and sizes will become aggressive, however, if food is present. And food was absolutely abundant for this celebratory camp & grill.

The man who took the video, who wishes to remain anonymous, tells Fox 11 that three of their party were “waiting for the fireworks to start” atop Mt. Wilson. At approximately 8:30 p.m. on Fourth of July Sunday, a young black bear charged directly for them out of the thickets bordering their campsite. One man wearing a red shirt took the brunt of the encounter (like any classic episode of Star Trek) with the bear latching directly onto his leg. Thankfully, the news station states that his injuries are “non-life threatening.”

A bear attacked a group of men who were waiting to watch fireworks on the 4th of July on Mount Wilson and the incident was captured on video.

Fox 11 Los Angeles

Young Black Bear Directly Attacks 4th of July Campers over Food

After their initial shock wears off, the men then think to shout and yell together to ward off the young bear. It works for a time, but the little one must be hungry – as he makes a B-line straight back for their food at the center of the campsite multiple times.

Black bears are highly curious animals, and it is not uncommon for them to initiate human encounters. Brazen attacks like this, however, are a rarity. Whenever food is involved, though, the species will become far more aggressive to obtain said food – especially if the scent is strong. Campsite cuisine nearly always meets this criterion.

“The little bear just launched at him!” Kenneth Vergoso tells Fox News 11. Vergoso can be seen in the footage warding the bear’s attack off with his blue folding chair. A true Outsider, right there, and true friend to Mr. Red Shirt, indeed.

Yet Vergoso, a veteran, reveals that he does not know the young man who was bitten. Yet he instinctively jumped into action anyway, as his Marine training taught him.

If it his service taught him anything else, it was “staying calm” in the face of danger. Which is exactly what Vergoso did.

“Are you going back there next July 4?” the news station asks Kenneth.

“Oh yeah,” he responds without hesitation. Bears be damned.

His girlfriend, Sonia, however, has one stipulation: “With no food!”