It appears Yellowstone National Park’s wolves find quite a bit of entertainment in harassing the park’s grizzly bears. In yet another brief clip captured by a park visitor, a wolf yearling and a large grizzly bear briefly face off. In it, the smaller animal bites the bear on the butt not once, but twice.
This clip features the most recent bear-butt-biting wolf. Park visitors shared another clip earlier this month capturing the same situation. Field & Stream claims the second incident is notable as it’s the second time in just weeks that such similar incidents have been recorded.
However, according to photographer and retired ecologist Gary Gaston, the first incident ultimately made sense. The earlier clip captures the wolf biting the grizzly bear a handful of times in Crystal Creek near Slough Creek. At the time, Gaston shared there had likely been an elk carcass nearby. This most likely caused the two to butt heads – or that is head-butts?
Regardless, he suspected that the bear and the wolf in his most recent clip differed from the two earlier. The second incident takes place six miles from the setting of the original butt-biting clip, in Lamar Valley.
Overall, Gaston expressed slight confusion following this latest incident. While the first was reasonable, he said, “The bear was eating roots, and didn’t seem a threat. But the wolf seemed intent on chomping bear butt. [It’s] hard to figure out these silly wolves.”
Wolf Bites Grizzly Bear on the Butt Three Times
Grizzly bears probably amount to one of Yellowstone National Park’s most aggressive and threatening animals. Although it nevertheless appears they endure major harassment from neighboring wolves. Park visitors that captured the earlier bear-butt-biting incident saw the previous wolf bite the larger lumbering animal three times.
Humorously, the large bear sits down in an attempt to avoid further harassment and, quite literally, cover his butt, though efforts remain futile. Further, while grizzly bears tend to be relentless in various encounters with humans, they seem much more patient with their fellow four-legged neighbors.
In both clips, the bears give the wolves several chances to deter from their actions before quickly turning to retaliate.
Nevertheless, while we may like to think these two species simply have some kind of strange, friendly relationship as a whole, park officials provided a logical answer to the repeat encounters.
Linda Veress, Yellowstone National Park’s public affairs officer told F&S, “We have observed this wolf behavior before, and it is not uncommon.” She explained, much like Gaston above, that these encounters typically happen when another animal carcass lies nearby.
In this way, she said, “the wolf may be trying to harass the bear away in hopes of stealing a bite of food. This can happen any time of year.”