HomeOutdoorsWATCH: Massive Grizzly Steals Another Bear’s Elk in Yellowstone National Park

WATCH: Massive Grizzly Steals Another Bear’s Elk in Yellowstone National Park

by Jon D. B.
Brown bears (Ursus arctos beringianus) fight (Ferraro/REDA&CO/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

Twin sisters witnessed one enormous grizzly bear stealing another’s kill in Yellowstone National Park and managed to catch it all on camera.

Twins Brianna and Vanessa Lindsey are true Outsiders. Together, they founded the Yellowstone Twins YouTube channel, and the footage they’ve uploaded shows their remarkable exploits in the national park so far. In just the last two weeks, the Lindseys have showcased a wolf hunting a pronghorn fawn through a herd of buffalo, a red fox hunting in winter snow, and other impressive wolf and grizzly encounters in Yellowstone National Park.

But their most impressive comes from the park’s Hayden Valley. There, the sisters would film not one, but two enormous grizzly bears and a remarkable behavioral display: the theft of an elk carcass.

“This is the closest we have ever been to grizzlies on a carcass. They were on the other side of the river so we were able to get a little closer than normal and of course a camera with a great zoom really helps,” Vanessa tells Newsweek of their footage:

Lindsay says that “bystanders let us know about these grizzlies in Hayden Valley. So of course we headed there right away. We were able to watch and video these grizzlies for two days and later found out they stayed around for over two weeks.”

And in their short time with the grizzlies, the twins were able to capture some truly astounding footage; including one grizzly burying all but the bull elk’s enormous antlers in the soil – doing so to guard its scent from further scavenging intruders.

“Yellowstone National Park is an amazing place with lots of wildlife and we have been very fortunate to experience amazing wildlife encounters over the years,” Lindsey says of the display.

Grizzly Bears Rule Yellowstone National Park

As hard as the first bear – the one to hunt and kill the bull elk – tried, they would find no success in retrieving the carcass back from the thieving second grizzly. But Yellowstone grizzlies expect this behavior from one another. It’s one of several reasons why the species is so famously territorial: if you’re not mating, other bears mean competition, period. And with some 720+ grizzly bears currently calling Yellowstone National Park home, that’s a whole lot of competition.

Elk are far more plentiful. Depending on the time of year, anywhere from 10,000 to 40,000 elk are within Yellowstone’s borders. And if a grizzly makes a kill on one, it is never to share with anyone other than their own cubs.

Despite their role as the largest land predator in the park (and anywhere in North America where their larger polar bear cousins don’t exist), grizzly bears still must fend off wolves, coyotes, and countless other “intruders” from scavenging their kills.

As the Lindsay sisters’ footage shows, the giants won’t even tolerate incursions from far tinier crows. After all, surviving in the wild means eating, and that goes triple for a massive grizzly bear in Yellowstone National Park.