Lone Coyote Squares Off Against Grizzly Bear in Intense Moment Caught on Video

by Jon D. B.

In this harrowing encounter, a grizzly bear attempts to break into the mother coyote’s den as she does everything she can to protect her pups.

What a wild planet we live on. A grizzly bear is a rare enough sight for most of us humans, but a grizzly squaring off against a lone coyote is exceptionally so. But wildlife watcher Tecco59, who’s amassed quite an impressive array of Canadian captures, managed to film exactly this in June.

Courtesy of Tecco59’s YouTube channel, the clip shows fascinating behavior on both the coyote and grizzly bear’s part. The mother coyote scours about, snarling and charging the bear, who’s ten times her size, as the bruin attempts to infiltrate her underground den just outside Jasper, Alberta. Take a look:

Coyote protecting its den and cubs from a Grizzly Bear, just outside Jasper. June 2022.


This is a mean feat for a coyote. Typically, these mid-sized canines are guarded by the safety of their pack and can take on prey far larger than themselves. But motherhood requires solo attention; something grizzly bears know to take advantage of. If this enormous bear can get into the den, she’ll feed on the defenseless cubs.

And what a sight this grizzly is. Continuously lunging for the protective mother, the bear uses her dominant size to intimidate. Weighing anywhere from 600 to 1,200 pounds, the grizzly could easily dispatch of the 30 to 40 pound parent. But she lunges in turn regardless, snarling as she refuses to give up her brood without a fight. It works, too.

Grizzly Bear Gives Up on Coyote Cubs, Preferring an Easy Meal

Despite their immense difference in size, the grizzly eventually gives up and lumbers off. The coyote sits atop the entrance to her den; watchful of the direction in which the bear went.

This may seem surprising given the sheer power of grizzlies. But bears are remarkably smart predators. Just a bite from a coyote could cause a nasty infection. This can be a death sentence in the wild, and the bear knows it. Bears scavenge when they can, and if they hunt, it’s prey that doesn’t bite back: deer, elk, moose, you name it.

In summer, most bears have amassed a healthy weight from post-hibernation feeding, too. This pudgy bear doesn’t look to be desperate for food, and that makes all the difference in this encounter. Had this been a winter’s end or spring encounter, a hungrier bear may have taken the risk and done everything it could’ve to make a meal out of the cubs – and their mother.

The absence of cubs on the bear’s side is telling, too. Not having your own hungry mouths to feed takes the need to hunt dangerous prey off the table in many instances. So in the end, the circumstances of nature were surely on the coyote’s side.