A Powerful Bison Just Keeps Walking and Takes an Attacking Grizzly for a Walk

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Written by Kyle Glatz

Updated: November 9, 2023

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Yellowstone National Park is home to a wide variety of creatures, including massive bears, deadly snakes, and members of the recovering bison population. Visitors to the park in May 2020 received a front-row seat to a battle between some of the biggest mammals in the park. A juvenile grizzly bear was trying to take down a young bison all by itself. Yet, the powerful bison takes the grizzly bear for a long walk first.

Grizzly bears are large creatures, weighing upwards of 600 pounds as grown adults, and bison can weigh over 2,00 pounds! Neither of these animals was fully grown, though. The grizzly picked on a bison its own size.

The video opens with the bear walking on its hind legs with its forelegs resting on the bison’s back as it tries to deliver a deadly bite. Bears often seek to incapacitate their prey by biting their neck or backbones. In this case, the bison’s large head and shaggy fur protect its head and neck. The bear goes for the backbone instead.

The bison does not seem too bothered by the ordeal and shrugs the bear off for a moment. The bear takes a few seconds to collect itself and then goes back to work, biting at the sides and back of the bison while trying to wear it down.

Meanwhile, the bison, giving no apparent sign that it’s in distress, decides to try walking away with the weight of the bear pressing down upon it. Meanwhile, the person behind the camera talks with other passersby, saying that it would be a “heck of a spot for a kill.” Apparently, a group of hikers was due to return to the area around that time.

The bear tries its best to maul the bison, and the young, powerful bison takes it for a walk. They walk across a field, over a bridge, and down to the banks of a river. Meanwhile, the bear systematically removes fur from the bison’s back.

Eventually, the current takes both creatures, and they float downriver and away from the camera. The cameraman goes over to where the attack began and zooms in on a bunch of bison fur that was sheared off by the bear’s teeth.

The grizzly’s relentless assault continues and becomes more vicious as the bison tries to regain its footing on the riverbank. Although they’re far from the camera, it’s clear that the bison is running out of strength as the grizzly tears into its hindquarters. At that point, every time the bear pulls itself onto the bison’s back, it sends the hapless creature’s body underwater.

The video ends without commentary as the attack continues. However, the video description says that the bear ultimately won the fight. Given the situation and size of the creatures, we can only assume that the young bear killed the powerful bison. Its hunt will serve as a valuable experience in the years to come.

Meanwhile, the people filming the assault got a great reminder of the power of nature even in a national park.

Is it Normal for Bison to Survive a Grizzly Bear Attack?

Grizzly bear climbing over a log in fall wood in Montana

Bison can easily survive bear attacks.

©Georgia Evans/iStock / Getty Images Plus via Getty Images

Adult bison emerge as a powerful force when faced with bears, as highlighted by Welden. In the video, a bear resembling the one described weighs approximately 450 lbs. In contrast, an adult female bison can weigh nearly three times as much, tipping the scales at around 1,300 pounds. This considerable size and weight advantage makes it totally possible for bison to survive bear attacks.

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About the Author

Kyle Glatz is a writer at A-Z-Animals where his primary focus is on geography and mammals. Kyle has been writing for researching and writing about animals and numerous other topics for 10 years, and he holds a Bachelor's Degree in English and Education from Rowan University. A resident of New Jersey, Kyle enjoys reading, writing, and playing video games.

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