There are few things more intimidating in the outdoors than a big bear. It turns out that Yellowstone National Park has plenty of big bears. It’s always good to keep your head on a swivel and make sure you know what’s going on around you. Even at a national park, wildlife lurks around every corner and sometimes they encroach on what we assume are “human” areas.
Not just that, but the whole food chain is a messy ordeal from top to bottom. And, it seems to get even more violent and messy the higher up that chain you go. For the animals at Yellowstone, one beast rules over all others. Bears. There are grizzly and black bears in the area and they are often seen doing what they do. Eat.
For a group of visitors, things got intense really fast when they looked over and saw an ursine mammal tearing into a baby elk. This is a common thing in the park. Each year, dozens of elk are born and that means plenty of food for the predators in the area. It’s all part of the cycle.
“Nature Is Metal” on Instagram posted the video and provided a little context for the kill. It’s really something special, even if it is bloody and scary at the same time.
“In late May and early June, bears in Yellowstone eagerly hunt for newborn elk calves,” the post reads. “The calves are too small and slow to escape when they are young, making them easy prey.
“It is estimated that up to 50% of all elk calves born in spring are killed and eaten by predators.”
Bear Forces Elk to Give Up Calf
The video above is no surprise for those that have kept up with bear news coming out of Yellowstone and other areas. Grizzly bears can be especially persistent. They are insanely talented athletes. They can sprint and swim at speeds you wouldn’t believe, but it isn’t always enough. Even though elk mommas are good at defending babies, they can’t save all of them.
When an elk is faced with the hard decision of facing a bear, there are few things they can do. What usually happens in those situations is that the mom has to sacrifice the baby. In this instance, there were two babies, the bear managed to grab one, and the other two elk had to walk away from the calf. It’s not an easy thing to watch, but it’s a part of nature that happens every day.
Bears will do anything to get a meal. Swim, climb, run, whatever it takes. Elk have a hard time competing against the predators. But, in the grand scheme of things it keeps the ecosystem moving along. A balance that is very delicate.