|THE HYAMPOM HOG BEAR.
(Ursus unimorsus amantiporcus.)
Ranging from mouth of the Columbia River southward
to the Klamath, woodsmen report the existence of a bear known
as the Hyampom hog bear. This is a small, sharp-nosed, curly-haired variety of the black and brown bear of the Coast
Ranges, but must not be confused with the Peaked-heel cinnamon.
To appreciate the importance of this animal one must remember that hog ranches are common in northwestern California. The Country there is peculiarly adapted to hog raising,
and the industry would be attractive and highly profitable were
it not for the existence of the hog bear. The mountain slopes
are covered with scrubby and creeping oaks, which bear prodigious crops of sweet and very nutritious acorns. These
naturally ripen earliest upon the lower slopes, where the young
hogs begin to feed. As the acorns higher up the slopes begin
to ripen, the hogs ascend the mountain, each week finding them
a few hundred feet higher and many pounds fatter. About
Christmas time the last of the acorns are reached on the upper
slopes, and the hogs have by that time become so fat that their
legs scarcely reach the ground, and the slightest jar is all that
the hog bear gets in his destructive work. He "mooches"
along the base of the mountain before the rancher has time to
rustle his pork, and finding hogs so plentiful and so helplessly
fat he takes just one bite out of the back of each, leaving the
porker squealing with agony and the rancher swearing with
While examining timber on a tributary of the Klamath
River, California, Mr. Eugene S. Bruce, of the Forest Services,
captured a cub hog bear, which he presented to the National
Zoo in Washington. Its development will be watched with
Interest and its disposition studied by members of the Biological Survey.