Nature is as harsh as it is beautiful. When it comes to apex predators like wolves, hunting the weak makes for a far easier meal. And no bison is more vulnerable than a small calf. It’s harsh to us, but to wolves – it’s just nature.
Around 100 gray wolves call Yellowstone National Park home today. While they live much like they have for centuries in park borders, much has changed at the hands of humanity. Like the presence of nature and wolf tours, for example. One such tour – via Yellowstone Wolf Tracker – captured this incredible footage over the first weekend of August.
Within, we see the Junction Butte Pack attempting to take down a bison calf. But as America’s enormous megafauna often prove, their enormous adult mothers are never willing to give up their young without a fight. And wolf or otherwise, you never want to be on the wrong end of a bison.
Video by @mtnmichelleYellowstone Wolf Tracker
“We had an exciting morning of wolf watching in Yellowstone today as several members of the Junction Butte Pack tried to take down a bison calf,” writes Yellowstone Wolf Tracker on Facebook. “After the adults ran them off they gave up the chase and went back to the rest of the pack.”
Yellowstone National Park’s Incredible Wildlife
One of the first things to jump out from this footage is the phenomenal agility of this little bison. Even from an early age, bison calves can exhibit impressive speed and maneuverability – as this red calf shows with gusto.
With such huge parents and guardians, however, there’s always the risk of a mature bison trampling a little one. The calf weaves in and out of her elders frantically – and survives to graze another day. Eventually, the adults are able to draw in their ranks and ward off the wolves. No easy meal for the Junction Butte Pack comes this day.
A big Outsider thanks to Yellowstone Wolf Tracker guide Michelle Holihan for filming and sharing her footage.
“This grey and another black followed the calf but the adult bison were impenetrable,” she says of the chase, which you can view more of below – courtesy of Holihan.
It was Holihan who originally ID’ed the wolves as the “Junction Butte Pack wolves” as they “were trying to hunt a bison calf [in Yellowstone].”
The JBs run the northern portion of the park. Most gray wolf packs center around a group of 7-10 tightly-knit individuals who hunt, play, and family together. Currently, there are around 94 wolves grouped into 8 different packs inside Yellowstone National Park. This number constantly fluctuates – as is the way of nature. But on average, 100 wolves of 8 distinct packs can be found in the park.