WATCH: Yellowstone Grizzly Bear Fights off Wolf Pack Gunning for Elk Kill

by Amy Myers

In Yellowstone National Park, a grizzly bear proved that even a pack of hungry wolves can’t steer it away from its kill.

At first glance, it would appear that the bear had no shot against the dozen wolves quickly closing in. While certainly powerful, it seems that the grizzly bear can’t possibly ward off all of its opponents and also protect its kill. But that’s exactly what happened in the snowy landscape of the national park.

Taken near the Junction Butte in Yellowstone, a video caught the entire nail-biting interaction, demonstrating just how brutal nature can be. As a couple of wolves charged forward, the bear rushed right back, winning the game of chicken. The lumbering beast continued to keep away the pack, spinning round and round at a dizzying rate until the wolves finally gave up.

Watch the face-off below.

“Brushbuck Wildlife Tour guide, Daniel Bradford, captured an AMAZING interaction of a grizzly bear in Yellowstone National Park still out on December 29th and the Junction Butte Wolf Pack during a guided tour in Yellowstone National Park. This was an incredible sight to witness as most bears should be in hibernation during this time (December 29th),” the park wrote.

Apparently, the elk kill didn’t even belong to the grizzly bear. The crafty creature managed to steal it from the wolf pack and manage to keep them all away.

Grizzly Bears Often Steal Kills From Yellowstone Wolf Pack

The recent theft isn’t the first of its kind. According to the park, this is often how the Junction Butte wolf pack loses its kills.

“Grizzlies take over wolf kills 80% of the time in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem,” the park informed.

While this may seem excessive to an outsider, to the wolves, it makes perfect sense. After already expending a lot of energy taking down large prey like elks, the pack then has to burn even more energy defending their kill. Add the almost definite danger that goes with taking on a larger animal (even if you have a few buddies to back you up), and it’s a risk not many of us would take. Instead, it would be much easier, and safer, to find another prey.

Who knew wolves were so gifted at assessing risk management?

Of course, grizzly bears are just as intelligent. In fact, grizzlies have even learned to follow wolf packs during their hunts, becoming more of scavengers than they are predators themselves. But, hey, a meal is a meal.

Take this incident from just last fall. Biologists observing one of Yellowstone’s wolf packs noticed that one hunter was much larger than the rest. Sure enough, there was a bear keeping pace with the pack.

And just as before, the grizzly snatched the kill as soon as the wolves finished the hard work.