VIDEO: Eleven Yellowstone wolves defend their kill from Grizzly Bear

Wolves versus Bear
Source: YouTube

Ever since the reintroduction of wolves to Yellowstone Park, grizzly bears and wolves have been engaging in battles for territory and resources.  These small battles can go either way, with the bear ceding his territory after deciding it's not worth the fight, or with wolves escaping to fight another day.  Since the Yellowstone ecosystem went without wolves for some time, the region's ecology must adjust to having them back again. 

A thrilling video uploaded to Youtube by Brushbuck Wildlife Tours is a great demonstration of the ongoing and oftentimes violent game of interspecies chess waged by the Park's bears and wolves. 

Wolves versus bears showdown
Source: YouTube

One thing that makes this encounter extraordinary is that usually bears in the Park are hibernating this time of year (the video was shot in December).

The wolves, known collectively as the Junction Butte wolf pack, had brought down an elk and left the kill.  When they returned shortly thereafter, the pack was stymied to find a grizzly bear eating their dinner.  A tense standoff ensues.  The bear is more powerful but slower.  The wolves circle the bear, staying just outside of its reach. 

After a strained few minutes, the wolves slink off, unwilling to risk their lives for their elk.  Perhaps they were telling themselves that it was stringy anyway.  Or maybe they briefly considered going vegan. 

One thing is clear: from the delighted sounds of the gathered crowd, you can tell that the people lucky enough to witness the battle got their money's worth.

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