Last night we encountered something we had discussed at length before, but we were honestly not ready to encounter.
But let me back up a little....
When we first got our little brood of livestock we knew we wanted to have a camera at night. Living in a preserved national Forrest comes with risk. Bobcats, wolves, fox, weasel, black bear, and grizzlies to name a few. We are really on their land; or at least right next to it. We have been here about seven weeks and so far had seen no trace of any sort of predator, but we have good knowledge and warning from near by farmers. We believe strongly that the animals we have claimed are not only our property but our responsibility. It is our duty to see that they are cared for in the best way we can. This includes happiness and safety. We grow their food organically . we raise live meal worms. We sprout barley. We monitor their health. We give them attention and love. We ensure they have a safe warm and dry home. And we decided long ago that we would use security motion cameras to monitor them at night. This is intended to be an additional measure and not our first line. All livestock and farm animals should have a secure home where they can be safe from predators. We also make sure that our yard, garage, shed, porch and Coop are picked up and feed is securely put away. We also lock up our trash containers inside a heavy duty container meant just for this purpose. For the most part, the animals are still and asleep at night. Our pigs will occasionally get up and walk around and drink for a bit, but the chickens especially do not move unless there is a threat.
so back to last night. The motion detector goes off for our pigs a few times at night. the ringing sound wakes me and I glance at my phone to see Muc taking a drink or walking around. But last night I nearly jumped out of my skin when I opened it to see this screen:
Yes that is my little young piggy Muc, face to face with a black bear. I woke Justin who scrambled to dress and grab his gun. I watched as the bear inspected the fence, the pig house and looked as though he were going to see how big of a fight Muc would put up. Well he put up a big fight. Enough to discourage the bear. And Justin running out finished scaring him off. With our hearts pounding, we inspected Muc and the fence for damage. with everything in order and not a scratch, we reluctantly went back inside (only to be jolted in fear by the dryer kicking on as we passed it).
Now we have a decision to make. We want to live in harmony with the land and animals around us. We want to do the right thing. But to us, the right thing comes down to: the responsibility to and importance of our animals.
You can read Minnesota law here https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/livingwith_wildlife/bears/relocating.html And I encourage you to look at your own local laws and regulations to see what help is available to you and what action you are legally allowed to take yourself. Here is good advice on how to not attract them and protect your property in the first place. https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/livingwith_wildlife/bears/homes.html